Holy thursday 2024. A greeting homily by Cardinal Giuseppe Betori

HOLY THURSDAY 2024. UNA OMELIA DI SALUTO DEL CARDINALE GIUSEPPE BETORI

Affermare che oggi, from the eagles and hawks that were we are moving on to chickens or, good going, to turkeys, it is not an ungenerous and irreverent statement but a fact: negli ultimi anni abbiamo assistito a nomine episcopali di soggetti imbarazzanti, ma quel che è peggio tutti uguali, o come suol dirsi fatti a stampo, clonati per emulazione. Il tutto alla faccia della pluralità delle voci all’interno della Chiesa!

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Author
Simone Pifizzi

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A ispirarmi questo articolo ― che tale non è, perché si tratta di riportare il testo di una omelia pronunciata dal Cardinale Giuseppe Betori Arcivescovo Metropolita di Firenze ― è stato il Padre Ariel, che poche settimane fa ha dedicato su queste nostre colonne un omaggio al suo Vescovo, S. AND. Mons. Andrea Turazzi; omaggio fatto con un tocco di classe riassunto in questa frase:

«Un buon prete è tale se per lodare il proprio Vescovo attende la fine del suo mandato […] Solamente adesso che non ha più potere di governo pastorale sulla Diocesi e su di me, I can publicly say how much I revered it, apprezzato e amato il mio Vescovo».

L’Arcivescovo di Firenze, pur avendo presentato al Sommo Pontefice la propria rinuncia al governo pastorale della nostra Diocesi non è ancora emerito, né è stato ancora ufficializzato il suo successore designato. La sua missione tra di noi, de facto, è da considerarsi però terminata. Per quanto riguarda il suo successore, è pressoché certo che sia stato già scelto e nominato, dobbiamo solo attendere l’annuncio ufficiale.

Con il Cardinale Giuseppe Betori — e ormai pochissimi altri divenuti vescovi cinquantenni sotto il pontificato del Santo Pontefice Giovanni Paolo II — si chiude definitivamente una stagione ecclesiale ed ecclesiastica che ebbe anch’essa le sue non poche problematicità, ma comunque popolata anche di personalità di alto livello pastorale e spessore culturale. Affermare che oggi, from the eagles and hawks that were we are moving on to chickens or, good going, to turkeys, it is not an ungenerous and irreverent statement but a fact: negli ultimi anni abbiamo assistito a nomine episcopali di soggetti imbarazzanti, ma quel che è peggio tutti uguali, o come suol dirsi fatti a stampo, clonati per emulazione. Il tutto alla faccia della pluralità delle voci all’interno della Chiesa!

Facendo mie le parole rivolte da un confratello al proprio Vescovo oggi posso dire anch’io:

«Un buon prete è tale se per lodare il proprio Vescovo attende la fine del suo mandato […] Solamente adesso che non ha più potere di governo pastorale sulla Diocesi e su di me, I can publicly say how much I revered it, apprezzato e amato il mio Vescovo».

Il Cardinale Giuseppe Betori si è rivelato una perla ormai incastonata nel diadema della genealogia degli ultimi Vescovi donati a questa nostra Chiesa fiorentina dalla Roma che ormai fu, come dimostra l’omelia che segue …

Florence, 28 March 2024

 

Il Cardinale Giuseppe Betori Arcivescovo Metropolita di Firenze, Santa Messa del Crisma dell’anno 2024

La Messa crismale, che il Vescovo concelebra con i presbiteri delle diverse zone della diocesi e durante la quale benedice il santo crisma e gli altri oli, è considerata una delle principali manifestazioni della pienezza del sacerdozio del vescovo e un segno della stretta unione dei presbiteri con lui». Sono queste le parole del Pontificale Romano nelle Premesse al rito della Benedizione degli Oli. Con queste parole quindici anni fa mi rivolsi a voi nella mia prima presidenza della celebrazione della Messa Crismale nella Chiesa fiorentina. Ad esse faccio riferimento anche oggi, in questa celebrazione che si può presumere sia l’ultima mia presidenza della Messa Crismale in questa cattedrale, per rivolgermi in particolar modo a voi preti fiorentini, con cui ho condiviso il governo pastorale del popolo di Dio che mi è stato affidato in questi anni.

Le mie vogliono essere parole di ringraziamento, di riflessione, di consegna per il futuro. Vorrei però evitare di scivolare sul piano dei sentimenti, pur importanti e non assenti nel mio cuore in questo momento, per ricondurre tutto alla luce della parola di Dio. Gratitudine, awareness, fiduciosa speranza vanno infatti misurate sulla fedeltà con cui siamo stati capaci di corrispondere al dono che Cristo ci ha fatto, di come ci sentiamo in dovere di approfondirne le forme in modo adeguato ai tempi, di come ci consegniamo ad esso nella certezza che la presenza del Signore e del suo Spirito tra noi, pur nelle incertezze del presente, non verrà mai meno.

In questo orizzonte accogliamo la rivelazione che oggi ci viene fatta dalla parola di Dio circa la missione di Cristo, delle dignità e responsabilità che sono consegnate ai suoi discepoli, del servizio della parola e della grazia che è affidato a noi suoi ministri a vantaggio di tutti. L’immagine che riassume questo mistero è quella dell’unzione, con cui il profeta esprime la consacrazione del Messia inviato a portare il lieto annunzio della salvezza, a porsi al servizio dei poveri e degli oppressi, a diffondere la consolazione della misericordia. Questa stessa unzione abbiamo udito Gesù proclamare come segno della missione per cui lo Spirito lo invia come liberatore dell’umanità da ogni sua fragilità per entrare nel tempo della grazia del Signore. In the end, questa unzione, ora definita regale e sacerdotale, è il segno di un popolo redento che vive per la gloria del Padre.

Annuncio, sacerdozio e regalità dalla persona di Cristo passano a quella dei credenti in lui e al servizio di questo passaggio è posto il nostro ministero di preti. Grazie dunque per il vostro ministero a servizio della Parola; viva sempre in voi il desiderio di conoscerla sempre più profondamente e di saperla ridire con parole che siano in grado di incrociare le domande espresse e inespresse dell’umanità contemporanea, guardiamo con fiducia al futuro, certi che nella inesauribile ricchezza della parola di Dio c’è un sicuro orientamento per le nuove sfide che incombono sull’umanità nei giorni a venire. Grazie per il vostro ministero di pontefici tra l’umanità e il suo Creatore, di generosi trasmettitori della grazia che viene dall’alto e di voce dell’umanità e delle sue attese verso il Padre di tutti; in un mondo che si edifica seguendo il mito dell’autosufficienza, sentite come particolare vostro impegno quello di risvegliare nella vostra gente il bisogno dell’invocazione e l’umiltà dell’accoglienza del dono di vita nuova opera dei sacramenti; alimentate sempre in voi la speranza, perché nessun ostacolo vi getti nello sconforto o anche solo nell’inerzia, perché tanto nulla cambia, avendo in noi la certezza che il Risorto ha il potere di fare nuove tutte le cose. Grazie per come nel vostro ministero animate le vostre comunità, vi consacrate ad esse, vi fate carico dei problemi in particolare dei più poveri; Siamo sì ministri della Chiesa, ma il nostro servizio è sempre per la venuta del Regno di Dio tra noi, nei segni di bene che aiutiamo a far sbocciare e nel contributo che come comunità cristiane siamo in grado di offrire per l’affermarsi della giustizia, of peace, del rispetto della dignità di ogni uomo, of the common good; è in rapido mutamento il posto della Chiesa nella società e di conseguenza quello del prete, per cui siamo sollecitati a lasciare ogni nostalgia di centralità ma anche a ribadire che nessuno e nessun mondo può restare estraneo al dono di noi stessi nel Signore.

Nell’omelia di quindici anni fa vi richiamavo a una comunione che non fosse una massificante uniformità, ma un intrecciarsi di relazioni nella diversità delle esperienze e nella modulazione dell’unica verità. Vi chiedevo di rifuggire dallo stanco ripetersi di una melodia monocorde per cercare un’armonia polifonica in cui ciascuna voce cerca la sintonia con le altre, per una comunicazione che esprima intelligenza della realtà e bellezza dell’esperienza. Non so quanto siamo riusciti a vivere così in questi anni e sto qui anche a chiedervi perdono per quanto non ho fatto o per quanto posso aver fatto in senso contrario.

L’altro richiamo di quindici anni fa era alla radice sacramentale del nostro ministero, per non lasciarci ridurre ad agenti sociali, pur apprezzati e benvoluti, e neppure a funzionari di un sacro a cui ricorrere come rifugio delle angosce umane. Sacramentalità significa che ciò che è decisivo in noi è il dono della grazia, di cui siamo stati e siamo destinatari e di cui abbiamo la responsabilità di essere trasmettitori. Vi ricordavo e vi ripeto perciò che servire la dimensione sacramentale della Chiesa significa anzitutto impegno a mostrare come nel regime sacramentale possiamo cogliere il primato di Dio nella storia e come esso si manifesti a noi ed entri in contatto con la nostra vita grazie alla mediazione di Cristo, che dei sacramenti è il fondamento e il fondatore.

E questo richiamo a Cristo mi fa ripetere anche oggi che la misura del nostro essere prete è strettamente dipendente dal nostro legame a lui. Solo restando uniti a lui sia la nostra identità che il nostro servizio nella Chiesa e nel mondo potranno trovare verità ed efficacia. Non manchi mai nella nostra vita quotidiana questo guardare a Cristo, dialogare con lui, lasciarci da lui guidare e sostenere.

Abbiamo camminato insieme in questi anni. È stato un grande dono per me essere il vostro vescovo e poter contare sul vostro sostegno. Non sappiamo quando, ma in futuro sarà un altro vescovo a guidarvi, a cui vi consegnerò ma a cui chiedo anche a voi di consegnarvi con fiducia. I vescovi passano, il Signore resta ed è lui l’unico vero nostro Pastore, di cui noi siamo solo segni, consapevoli, per quanto mi riguarda di debolezza e insufficienza. Al Signore chiedo misericordia e a voi umana comprensione. With affection.

 

Florence, 28 March 2024

Cattedrale Metropolitana di Santa Maria del Fiore

Santa Messa del Crisma

 

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Gestures and words, about the liturgy. Let's break a spear in favor of “Kiss me Tucho”, anche se pare avere dimenticato la Redemptionis Sacramentum

GESTURES AND WORDS, ABOUT THE LITURGY. SPEZZIAMO UNA LANCIA A FAVORE DI “BESAME TUCHO”, ANCHE SE PARE AVERE DIMENTICATO LA THE SACRAMENT OF REDEMPTION

Many, to put it mildly, they turned up their noses when the Pontiff chose the current Prefect. There was no shortage of criticism. Rispondendo con rispetto e per alleggerire con una battuta tutto il discorso fatto fin qui si potrebbe ricordare il detto che recita: «Anche un orologio rotto segna due volte al giorno l’ora giusta»

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Author
Simone Pifizzi

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Per una curiosa legge del contrappasso molti che avevano gioito alla pubblicazione della Begging for confidence, confusa e ambigua dichiarazione del dicastero per la Dottrina della Fede pubblicata il 18 dicembre dell’anno scorso, dinanzi alla quale sono insorti interi episcopati, si sono sentiti di polemizzare con la più recente Nota del medesimo Dicastero sulla validità dei Sacramenti del 2 febbraio di questo anno e intitolata: Gestis verbisque.

The question arises spontaneously: In the 2004 fu pubblicata l’Istruzione Sacramentum che è un capolavoro di teologia sacramentaria, di disciplina dei Sacramenti e di pastorale liturgica. Istruzione che, stando a ciò che è seguitato ad accadere nelle nostre chiese, è stata bellamente disattesa da eserciti di preti creativi e da movimenti laicali che hanno seguitato imperterriti a crearsi le proprie liturgie personalizzate, Neocatecumenali in testa, il tutto nella totale incuranza e mancata vigilanza da parte dei vescovi, sebbene il documento parli molto chiaro nella sua conclusione finale:

«This Instruction, drafted, by order of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was approved by the Pontiff himself on 19 March 2004, on the solemnity of St. Joseph, who ordered its publication and immediate compliance by all those responsible ".

Perché non richiamare all’osservanza di questa istruzione, così ben fatta e dettagliata, semmai stabilendo delle precise sanzioni per chi avesse disatteso le disposizioni date? Perché questo è il problema di fondo che ha caratterizzato gli ultimi cinquant’anni di vita di una Chiesa che chiede, esorta, istruisce e raccomanda, ma che si guarda però bene, in questi documenti, di fissare precise sanzioni per i trasgressori. Not only: in 64 note di richiamo della Gestis verbisque the Sacramentum non è mai stata richiamata e citata una sola volta, cosa oggettivamente grave.

Come ormai sanno anche i sassi la prima succitata Dichiarazione, nell’ambito più ampio del senso da dare alle benedizioni nella Chiesa, apriva alla possibilità di benedire spontaneamente anche coppie in situazioni irregolari e dello stesso sesso. Cosa che per molti vescovi e preti delle varie regioni del Nord dell’Europa non era necessaria, lo fanno arbitrariamente da anni. Questo controversa Dichiarazione prevede Benedizioni da impartire in luoghi e con modalità che non dovranno essere in alcun modo simili a quelle date alle coppie regolari, ma: «In altri contesti, quali la visita a un santuario, l’incontro con un sacerdote, la preghiera recitata in un gruppo o durante un pellegrinaggio. Indeed, attraverso queste benedizioni che vengono impartite non attraverso le forme rituali proprie della liturgia, bensì come espressione del cuore materno della Chiesa, analoghe a quelle che promanano in fondo dalle viscere della pietà popolare, non si intende legittimare nulla ma soltanto aprire la propria vita a Dio, chiedere il suo aiuto per vivere meglio, ed anche invocare lo Spirito Santo perché i valori del Vangelo possano essere vissuti con maggiore fedeltà» (no 40).

Fin qui tutti contenti, almeno i fautori di questa apertura, come se noi avessimo negato in precedenza benedizioni a singole persone, soprattutto a quelle che vivevano in condizioni di irregolarità, o che si erano macchiate dei peccati e dei delitti più gravi.

Per ironia della sorte, proprio coloro che avevano esultato dinanzi alla Begging for Confidence, poco dopo si sono lanciati in dure critiche riguardo la Nota del 2 February, Gestures and words, perché utilizza un linguaggio tradizionale nel definire ciò che occorre affinché un Sacramento sia valido, oltre che lecito. The criticism, in particular, si appunta sull’uso insistito dei termini «forma» e «materia» utilizzati dalla Nota in quanto componenti insostituibili di ogni celebrazione dei Sacramenti, insieme all’intenzione del celebrante. Critica che riguarda lo scollegamento di questi tre elementi costitutivi dall’insieme della celebrazione del Sacramento, dai soggetti che vi partecipano e dai vari segni che vi intervengono, i quali dovrebbero essere, per loro stessa costituzionalità, significativi e, how do you say, parlanti. Gli appunti mossi, so, fanno riferimento al modo con cui la Nota non prende in esame l’interezza del Sacramento celebrato e, come onda di ritorno, si riversano anche sulla Begging for confidence, in quanto lì: «…Un benedire senza forma (senza spazio, time, words, all over) è un non senso» (cf.. See WHO).

Non sta a me prendere le difese di un Dicastero strategico come quello per la Dottrina della fede. But, a leggere e rileggere quella Nota mi viene in mente il «Rasoio di Occam» il quale si potrebbe sintetizzare più o meno così: «A parità di fattori, la spiegazione più semplice è quella da preferire»; o anche «Non considerare la pluralità se non è necessario».

this Note, sia nella lettera di accompagnamento del Prefetto, che nel suo corpo stesso, ricorda che da parte di Cardinali e Vescovi sono stati rilevate, e quindi richiesti chiarimenti, sulle gravi modifiche apportate alla materia e alla forma dei Sacramenti, rendendoli di fatto nulli. Basterebbe leggere i pochi indizi ed esempi, a volte strampalati e curiosi, a cui fa riferimento il Prefetto per capire lo scopo semplice della Nota stessa: richiamare tutti ad una celebrazione dei Sacramenti corretta, loyal, ecclesial. Che se sono concessi, dove permessi dalle Conferenze episcopali, spazi di creatività, questi non divengano invece una inventiva che di fatto manipola arbitrariamente il Sacramento celebrato.

È a partire da questo sfondo e cioè dalla preoccupazione dei Pastori delle Chiese, che la Nota va letta. La quale poi sintetizza ciò che occorre perché un Sacramento sia valido, richiamando la dottrina tradizionale, che è vero, nei suoi tratti salienti risale al Concilio di Trento che il Vaticano II ha ripreso e rielaborato in sintonia con tutto quello che nel frattempo la Chiesa, in quell’assise, riscopriva su sé stessa e su come intendeva proporsi al mondo di oggi.

Non a caso la Nota prende spunto proprio dalla Costituzione Sacrosanctum Concilium per ricordare che il Concilio: «Riferisce analogicamente la nozione di Sacramento all’intera Chiesa». E dalla The light che afferma circa la Chiesa che quest’ultima è: «In Cristo come Sacramento, cioè segno e strumento dell’intima unione con Dio e dell’unità di tutto il genere umano». E ciò si realizza precipuamente per mezzo dei Sacramenti, in ciascuno dei quali si attua a suo modo la natura sacramentale della Chiesa, Corpo di Cristo… Cosciente di ciò la Chiesa, since its origins, ha avuto particolare cura delle fonti dalle quali attinge la linfa vitale per la sua esistenza e la sua testimonianza: God's Word, attestata dalle sacre Scritture e dalla Tradizione, e i Sacramenti, celebrati nella liturgia, mediante i quali è continuamente ricondotta al mistero della Pasqua di Cristo» (cf.. no. 6, 7 e 10).

Per la grandezza di tutto questo the church, if he says, riceve i Sacramenti, li amministra, ma non ne è padrona. Cosa che invece sembra sia accaduta con le varianti creative di diversi ministri e di vari movimenti laicali. È solo a questo punto che la Nota ricorda brevemente ― non è del resto un trattato di liturgia ― quelli che sono elementi essenziali. Innanzitutto la «forma» del Sacramento che corrisponde alle parole che si accompagnano alla materia, la trascende, veicolando il senso cristiano, salvifico ed ecclesiale di ciò che si sta compiendo nella celebrazione. Quindi la «materia» del Sacramento che consiste invece nell’azione umana, attraverso la quale agisce Cristo. In essa a volte è presente un elemento materiale (water, pane, vino, oil), altre volte un gesto particolarmente eloquente (segno della croce, imposizione delle mani, immersione, infusione, consenso, unzione). Tale corporeità appare indispensabile perché radica il Sacramento non solo nella storia umana, but also, più fondamentalmente, nell’ordine simbolico della Creazione e lo riconduce al mistero dell’incarnazione del Verbo e della Redenzione da Lui operata (cf.. no 13).

Infine l’«intenzione» di chi celebra, che nulla ha a che vedere con la sua moralità e la fede, piuttosto con il convincimento di compiere: «Almeno ciò che fa la Chiesa» (Council of Trent). Questa disposizione sottrae il celebrante dall’automatismo e dalla possibile arbitrarietà del singolo, poiché questo atto squisitamente umano è anche ecclesiale. Atto interiore e soggettivo si, which, however, manifestandosi nel Sacramento, diviene di tutta la comunità ecclesiale e: «Poiché ciò che fa la Chiesa non è altro che ciò che Cristo ha istituito, anche l’intenzione, insieme alla materia e alla forma, contribuisce a rendere l’azione sacramentale il prolungamento dell’opera salvifica del Signore» (cf.. no 18).

A tal proposito la Chiesa ha approntato i libri liturgici che non vanno alterati o usati a piacimento, piuttosto osservati fedelmente nelle parole e persino nella gestualità che in essi è indicata. Gli stessi prevedono spazi di creatività e le stesse Conferenze episcopali dei diversi paesi hanno predisposto possibili adattamenti e varianti che corrispondono alla sensibilità e alla situazione dei partecipanti. Si pensi alle celebrazioni coi fanciulli, for instance, ai diversi canoni eucaristici predisposti per loro ed approvati dalla CEI.

La Nota ricorda anche, e questo sembra rispondere agli appunti critici, that: «Materia, forma e intenzione sono sempre inseriti nel contesto della celebrazione liturgica, che non costituisce un ornatus cerimoniale dei Sacramenti e nemmeno una didascalica introduzione alla realtà che si compie, ma è nel suo complesso l’avvenimento in cui continua a realizzarsi l’incontro personale e comunitario tra Dio e noi, in Cristo e nello Spirito Santo, incontro nel quale, attraverso la mediazione di segni sensibili, «viene resa a Dio una gloria perfetta e gli uomini vengono santificati». La necessaria sollecitudine per gli elementi essenziali dei Sacramenti, dai quali dipende la loro validità, deve pertanto accordarsi con la cura e il rispetto dell’intera celebrazione, in cui il significato e gli effetti dei Sacramenti sono resi pienamente intelligibili da una molteplicità di gesti e parole, favorendo in tal modo l’actuosa participatio of the faithful (cf.. no 20).

In this context si inserisce tutta l’importanza della presidenza liturgica e l’arte di celebrare. Queste richiedono la conoscenza dei motivi teologici che le espirano, come quelli di agire, quando si celebra, In persona Christi e Nomine ecclesiae. Come pure la conoscenza dei libri liturgici e dei loro To be noted che spesso si saltano a piè pari perché noiosi. Ma se volessimo fare un paragone, che spero non appaia fuori luogo, fra il celebrare e il gesto sportivo, si vede come quest’ultimo risulti efficace se ha dietro una buona conoscenza e messa in atto dei cosiddetti fondamentali. Un campione, soprattutto di quelle discipline che richiedono gesti ripetuti uguali e precisi, passa molto tempo, anni addirittura, a studiare, ad allenarsi e a esprimersi poi con una disinvoltura che stupisce. Un gesto atletico molto difficile che vediamo eseguire, durante una olimpiade per esempio, ha richiesto una preparazione non indifferente, eppure ci sembra semplice e naturale.

To conclude, so che tanti, to put it mildly, they turned up their noses when the Pontiff chose the current Prefect. There was no shortage of criticism. Rispondendo con rispetto e per alleggerire con una battuta tutto il discorso fatto fin qui si potrebbe ricordare il detto che recita: «Anche un orologio rotto segna due volte al giorno l’ora giusta». But, honestly, questa Nota stavolta suona bene. Non ha nulla di criticabile, se l’intenzione è proprio quella di invitare a custodire e a presentare in modo degno ed ecclesiale un bene tanto prezioso. Infatti così termina:

«Noi […] abbiamo questo tesoro in vasi di creta, affinché appaia che questa straordinaria potenza appartiene a Dio, e non viene da noi» (2Color 4, 7). L’antitesi utilizzata dall’Apostolo per sottolineare come la sublimità della potenza di Dio si riveli attraverso la debolezza del suo ministero di annunciatore ben descrive anche quanto accade nei Sacramenti. La Chiesa tutta è chiamata a custodire la ricchezza in essi contenuta, perché mai venga offuscato il primato dell’agire salvifico di Dio nella storia, pur nella fragile mediazione di segni e di gesti propri della umana natura» (no 28).

Florence, 21 February 2024

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The “Yellow Submarine” and tragedy. To what extent are you required to save human life in all ways?

THE YELLOW SUBMARINE AND THE TRAGEDY. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE YOU REQUIRED TO SAVE HUMAN LIFE IN ALL WAYS?

It takes a lot of mercy, out of the question, because even snooty imbeciles deserve Christian and human mercy in any case, perhaps even more so than intelligent people, wise and prudent.

- Actuality -

Author
Simone Pifizzi

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Man receives life on loan for use, he is not the arbitrary owner of it and cannot dispose of it as he sees fit, nor by taking life, as in the case of abortion, nor by taking his own life, as in the case of euthanasia, even if today it is difficult to talk about the salvific value of human suffering, theme to which the Holy Pontiff John Paul II dedicated his own encyclical: saving Passion. Human life crosses the same subjective reality of man who does not give himself life, but who receives it as a gift. So it can't be him who decides to self-suppress himself. It is true that life is in the hands of man, but at the same time it remains a gift that goes far beyond his hands. Because of this, that of life, it is a sacred gift that can be disposed of up to a certain point and within certain limits.

Here is an academic example extreme and terrible that can make the idea: a large group of SS. is about to cross a bridge, once it has been crossed, he will make a massacre of civilians in that country, just as it was at Sant'Anna di Stazzema. In fact, they suspect that partisans are hidden in that country, whose generality and identity they are ignorant of, for this they decided to solve the root problem by killing all the inhabitants, without sparing the elderly, women and children. The only access road to that town is a tens of meters high viaduct built between the wall of a mountain and that of the other mountain. Members of the resistance undermined it, ready to blow it up if necessary. While the soldiers of the S.S. they are about to cross it a completely unaware mother is crossing it with her child by the hand. Request: the bridge must be blown up or not?

To say that the lives of the innocent they can never and under no circumstances be sacrificed, it is a categorical affirmation based on illogical and surreal emotions, especially when the "no at all costs to the sacrifice of human beings" is pronounced in countries where babies are aborted every day, after having decided that in that case, however, we are not dealing with innocent victims, because abortion is a real right, indeed more: "A Great Social Achievement".

About thirty years ago it happened in the areas of my Tuscany that an eccentric young man with thehobby to keep very poisonous snakes in your home, while cleaning one of their cages he was bitten. In Italy, where the only poisonous snakes present in our area are vipers, no drug center had an antidote, which could only be found in Switzerland at a pharmaceutical company specialized in storing very rare drugs. In the hospital they only managed to slow down the effect of the poison that entered the circulation. In the meantime, an F104 plane was sent off from the Grosseto Air Force center which reached Switzerland in half an hour where a company employee gave the pilot the antidote without even getting off the powerful aircraft., then back to basics, all in just over an hour. This case was followed by controversy when it became known how much it cost to start an F104 and above all that at the time, the cost of that antidote, fu pari a 15 million of the old lire, obviously paid for by the state, equivalent to what they might be today in approximately current monetary value 25.000/30.000 Euro.

Some cynics asked the question if it was the case to spend all the money that was spent to save a person who in violation of the laws which already at the time forbade the purchase, conserve and breed certain reptiles, he had gone looking for trouble like that. But they were just cynics, with the aggravating circumstance of inhumanity, because life must always be saved at all costs, for example not by blowing up a bridge in the middle of which is a mother with a child. Then, the hundreds of people who shortly after will be slaughtered by the SS. just passed that pass, in any case they will die happy together with their children, for saving two lives.

Since few days television and the international press they're about a group of three multi-millionaires, plus a quarter who is the son of one of them, who wanted to take away the whim of going down to the depth of 3.800 meters to reach the steamer Titanic sunk off Terranova in 1912 after hitting a iceberg of ice. Tragedy in which they died 1.527 people on 2.232 passenger, solo 705 of which survived.

It's about the whims of the rich? No, the real rich, those who have been such for generations, those who know the delicacy and volatility of money and how difficult it is to keep and increase it; the truly wealthy who owe their wealth to their own particular entrepreneurial or financial genius, they don't do these braggart things, they are typical deeds of the rich. Why only capricious riches, sure you can afford anything, they could pay each 250.000 U.S.. $ to descend to the depth of almost 4 kilometers where the wreck of the Titanic is located, which is a shrine, a cemetery, which as such should be respected. Those depths cannot be the destination of stunts pushed to the extreme aboard a mini-submarine similar to a supposed underwater one in which the patrons could not even stand up, not even kneel, therefore unable to move, but only sitting in the space of 5 meters long for 1.60 of height [cf.. WHO]. A terrible death in the darkest depths of the sea, occurred due to suffocation in a narrow space where it is good not even to think what could have happened in the moments of panic that occurred in a claustrophobic space while oxygen was missing and the four multimillionaires, with the driver of the vehicle, they died of suffocation. It details it a The Print Paul Narcisi, resuscitation specialist, not failing to add:

“This tragedy, while respecting the people involved, forced a mobilization in the relief efforts that did not even take place for i 600 shipwrecked from a few days ago".

As for the guy bitten by the pet snake, also in this case air and sea means were used, sophisticated technological tools, personal, specialists and so on. Fair Enough, to save human life one must try everything. Without forgetting, however, that the four, before boarding, after paying 250.000 $ each signed a contract with a precise release for the company that organized their eccentric stunt, in which it is specified that the undertaking could also have involved the possibility of dying, all specified three times in the text signed and signed by the four rich men.

Say they went looking for it, it is neither lack of pity nor respect towards these dead in a very tragic way. It is a reality, not of lack of mercy: it was they themselves who signed up and declared that they were aware that they could also have met their death, which is to say, black on white, than if that happened, it was because they themselves had gone looking for it, after having been notified to this effect and having also signed it in a contract.

It takes a lot of mercy, out of the question, because even snooty imbeciles deserve Christian and human mercy in any case, perhaps even more so than intelligent people, wise and prudent.

Florence, 22 June 2023

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Great homily by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan: «Who was Silvio Berlusconi? A man"

GREAT HOMILY BY THE METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN: «WHO WAS SILVIO BERLUSCONI? A MAN"

«Silvio Berlusconi was certainly a politician, he was certainly a businessman, he was certainly a character in the limelight of notoriety. But in this moment of leave and prayer, what can we say about Silvio Berlusconi? It was a man: a desire for life, a desire for love, a desire for joy. And now we celebrate the mystery of fulfillment. Here's what I can say about Silvio Berlusconi. He is a man and now he meets God".

— Liturgical ministry —

Author
Simone Pifizzi

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We pastors in the care of souls get used to going up to the pulpits and preaching, we know that there are moments and particular situations in which it is not easy to give an appropriate homily, as in the case of the funeral of Silvio Berlusconi celebrated today in the Cathedral of Milan. Someone might think that the delicacy could be given by the complex personality of the deceased, a man who for several decades rode the national and international political scene. To follow with the presence of the highest state authorities, from the President of the Republic to the Prime Minister. Situations in which it is not allowed, I don't say a word, but not even a wrong sigh. However, this is not the difficulty, even if in more or less similar circumstances several bishops and priests have solved the problem by saying more or less everything without saying anything, thus avoiding any possible problems.

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan, S. AND. Mons. Mario Delpini, instead he was able to give a truly grandiose homily that brought everyone back down to earth in this aria of beatification of the late Knight, whose figure is part of the history of Italy and for this reason will be the subject of in-depth studies by historians and geopolitical experts for decades and decades. The Ambrosian Archbishop focused on something else: about the man Silvio Berlusconi who was undoubtedly a successful businessman, a politician who presided over the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic for four terms, a histrionic character gifted with a rare and extraordinary sense of self-irony, so much so that he repeatedly declared: «Many are tired of making fun of me, forgetting that I fool myself and that no one can do it as well as me".

Before this complex and even controversial figure, the Ambrosian Archbishop did not hide behind the “say nothing”, but he said it all by building his entire speech on this rhetorical question: «What can we say about Silvio Berlusconi?». Giving the answer right away: "It was a man". And the Ambrosian Archbishop spoke of the man with a Christian poetics that can be applied both to a celebrity like Silvio Berlusconi, or to the last of the elderly who died forgotten in a geriatric ward: a man.

Florence, 14 June 2023

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Full text of the homily of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Milan

Live

Live. Live and love life. Live and desire a full life. To live and wish that life was good, beautiful for yourself and for loved ones. Living and understanding life as an opportunity to put the talents received to good use. Living and accepting the challenges of life. Living and going through difficult moments in life. Live and resist and don't let defeats bring you down and believe that there is always a hope of victory, of ransom, of life. To live and desire a life that never ends and have courage and trust and believe that there is always a way out even from the darkest valley. Live and not shirk the challenges, to contrasts, to insults, to criticism, and keep smiling, to challenge, to counter, to laugh at insults. To live and feel the forces run out, live and suffer the decline and keep smiling, to try, to try a way to live again. That's what can be said about a man: a desire for life, which finds its judgment and fulfillment in God.

To love and be loved

Loving and wanting to be loved. Loving and looking for love, like a promise of life, like a complicated story, like a compromised fidelity. Desiring to be loved and fearing that love can only be a concession, a condescension, a stormy and precarious passion. To love and to want to be loved forever and to experience the disappointments of love and to hope that there might be a way to a higher love, harder, bigger. Loving and walking the paths of dedication. To love and to hope. Loving and trusting. Love and surrender. This is what can be said of man: a desire for love, which finds its judgment and fulfillment in God.

To be happy

Be happy and love the holidays. Enjoy the beauty of life. Being happy without too many thoughts and without too many anxieties. To be happy with lifelong friends. Be happy with companies that give satisfaction. Being happy and wanting others to be happy too. Being happy with yourself and being surprised that others are not happy. Be happy with good things, some beautiful moments, of the applause of the people, praise from supporters. Enjoy the company. Be happy with the smallest things that make you smile, of the nice gesture, of the rewarding result. Being happy and experiencing that joy is precarious. Being happy and feeling the insinuation of a dark threat that covers the things that make you happy with greyness. Being happy and feeling lost in the face of the irremediable exhaustion of joy. This is what can be said of man: a desire for joy, which finds its judgment and fulfillment in God

I'm looking for the man

When a man is a businessman, then try to do business. It therefore has customers and competitors. It has moments of success and moments of failure. He ventures into reckless enterprises. Look at the numbers not the criteria. He has to do business. He cannot trust others too much and knows that others don't trust him too much. He is a businessman and must do business. When a man is a politician, then try to win. It has supporters and opponents. There are those who exalt it and those who cannot bear it. A politician is always a partisan. When a man is a character, then it is always on stage. It has admirers and detractors. It has those who applaud it and those who hate it. Silvio Berlusconi was certainly a politician, he was certainly a businessman, he was certainly a character in the limelight of notoriety. But in this moment of leave and prayer, what can we say about Silvio Berlusconi? It was a man: a desire for life, a desire for love, a desire for joy. And now we celebrate the mystery of fulfillment. Here's what I can say about Silvio Berlusconi. He is a man and now he meets God.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Milan, 14 June 2023

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The Corpus Christi. A feast to be rediscovered in a time when the Eucharistic cult seems “past fashion” in the streets deserted by shepherds and occupied by “sacred processions” the “politically correct”

THE THE BODY OF THE LORD. A FESTIVAL TO BE REDISCOVERED IN A TIME WHEN EUCHARISTIC CULT SEEMS "OUT OF FASHION" IN THE STREETS DESERTED BY SHEPHERDS AND OCCUPIED BY "SACRED PROCESSIONS" OF THE "POLITICALLY CORRECT"

We are sorry to note - as evidenced by numerous messages from priests who arrived on our Island of Patmos in the past days - that in many of our cities by now the procession of The body of the Lord it has become a memory. Even the Diocese of Rome did not have its procession this year: on the other hand, on the eve of The body of the Lord however, it was used to carry out the meeting conference on human fraternity entitled Not Alone, which also included the presence of the Holy Father, did not materialize due to the last surgery.

— Liturgical ministry —

Author
Simone Pifizzi

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In recent times we really saw more or less everything. Holy Masses celebrated on inflatable mattresses [cf.. WHO, WHO, WHO], on motorcycles or anything else used for altars; with sacred ministers in bathing suits or with clothes that to judge inappropriate for the Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice would be a mere understatement. Holy Thursday reposition altars that, from places that should express love and prayer towards the most precious treasure left to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ, which have become a place of outlet for the most extravagant priestly paturnies [cf.. WHO].

The body of the Lord June 2020, Eucharistic blessing from the cathedral square imparted by Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Metropolitan Archbishop of Florence

It then comes as dew on the fleece in the desert the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, commonly said The body of the Lord, which the Church celebrates on the first Thursday after the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, or the following Sunday. Was written:

“How the Most Holy Eucharist represents the center and summit of all our religious life, as well as the fulcrum of the liturgy, the highest moment of Christian life and the holiest of sacraments, so the holiday of The body of the Lord, apart from Easter and Christmas, it is the most radiant of the liturgical year, because it marks the triumph of the Eucharistic King, and its institution is the most eloquent expression of the religious and ecclesial life of the Middle Ages" (Bernhard Ridder, Ecclesiastical history textbook, Pauline, p. 368).

The origin of this holiday it is traced back historically in the year 1247 in the diocese of Liège, where the bishop introduced this celebration in reaction to the theses of Berengar of Tours (998-1088), according to which the presence of Christ in the Eucharist was not real but only symbolic. The Bishop was inspired by the mystic Saint Juliana of Cornillon (1192-1258), Augustinian nun of Mount Cornillon Convent, who had a vision of the Church as a young man, appeared to her under the guise of a full moon, marked by a dark spot, to indicate the absence of a holiday. Later she had the vision of Christ himself who entrusted her with the task of working to ensure that the feast of the Blessed Sacrament was established, to revive the faith of Christians in the real presence in the Eucharist and to expiate the sins committed against the Eucharistic Sacrament. Become in 1222 prioress of her convent sought advice from the leading theologians of her time (tra cui Jacques Pantaleon, future Pope Urban IV) to request the establishment of the party. This brought the bishop of Liège, Robert of Thourotte (+1246) to call in 1246 a local synod ― because at the time the synods dealt with serious things ... ― which established that from the following year the feast of the The body of the Lord in the diocese of Liège. Incidentally: at the time the bishops had the right to establish liturgical feasts within their own diocese.

In 1264 Pope Urban IV who had already contributed and supported the party of The body of the Lord in Liège, also following the recognition of the Eucharistic Miracle of Orvieto-Bolsena del 1263, with the bubble Pass out of this world, established the solemnity of The body of the Lord for the whole universal Church, raising it to a feast of obligation and fixing its celebration for the Thursday after the Octave of Pentecost. On the Eucharistic miracle of Bolsena-Orvieto, however, we leave the floor to our confrere from Orvieto Marco Nunzi, who is an expert connoisseur [cf.. WHO]. I am interested in underlining some liturgical particularities of this feast:

Eucharistic liturgy. The texts of the readings of the three Masses corresponding to the festive liturgical cycles A, B e C, first of all they present the symbolic figures of the Old Testament concerning the Eucharist such as the manna given as food to Israel in the wilderness, the burnt offerings e i sacrifices of fellowship with the Lord, the blood of the covenant, the bread and wine offered by Melchizedek to Abraham. In the second reading of the same three Masses, the Apostle Paul states that communion with the Body of Christ is an eloquent sign of unity, of intimate friendship and "incorporation" in Christ, as well as faith and complete self-giving to him. The text of the Letter to the Hebrews (B) presents Jesus offering himself to purify our conscience from the works of death in order to serve the living God. In the Gospel passages it comes part of Discourse on the Bread of Life held by Jesus in Capernaum (cf.. GV 6), the last supper of Jesus and the institution of the Eucharist (cf.. MC 14, 12-6. 22-26) and the multiplication of the loaves (cf.. LC 9, 11-17). In particular, the stupendous sequence should be underlined Lauda Sion who sings of Christ the true Bread of Life who “feeds us, it defends us and leads us to eternal goods in the land of the living".

Liturgy of the hours. Beyond the hymns of Put lingua, the Sacred festivals he was born in The word coming from above, unsurpassed in content and musical melody, the psalms of the Office of Readings, of Lauds and Vespers summarize all the sentiments that a believing and loving soul can express to the Lord, who in the Eucharist gives us the eloquent sign of his infinite love for us. The two readings present the Eucharist as the center of the whole history of salvation, which has its preparation in the Old Testament and its full implementation in the New Testament. San Tommaso Aquino, in the second reading, don't hesitate to say

"the Only Begotten Son of God, wanting to make us partakers of his divinity […] became man to lift us to the heights of God […] in fact, he offered his body to God the Father as a victim on the altar of the cross for our reconciliation. He shed his blood making it count as a price and as a lavage because, redeemed from humiliating slavery, we were cleansed of all sins. Because, at last, remain in us a constant reminder of so great a benefit, he left his Body as food and his Blood as drink to his faithful, under the species of bread and wine. Oh, wonderful banquet! What can be more valuable? No sacrament is healthier than this. The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's passion, it is the greatest of all the wonders he wrought, it is the admirable document of his immense love for men» (Opusc. 57, on the Feast of the Body of the Lord, lect. 1-4).

Eucharistic Procession. As we have already said, In order to encourage devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, Pope Urban IV extended the feast of The body of the Lord to the whole Church. While making no mention in the Bull of a Eucharistic procession, he immediately got into the habit of showing the faithful the Eucharistic Species during a solemn procession with the Blessed Sacrament, which evidently has always stood out for its special importance and significance in the pastoral life of Christian communities. It therefore agrees that, where current circumstances allow it and where the procession can truly be a sign of faith and adoration, it is preserved. In this case it is good that the procession with the Blessed Sacrament takes place immediately after Mass, in which the Host is consecrated and then carried in procession. The songs and prayers that are made along the way, lead everyone to manifest their faith in Christ, solely intent on the light of the Lord (cf.. Rite of Communion outside Mass and Eucharistic Worship, NN. 102 – 104).

Sorry to see - as attested by numerous messages from priests who arrived on our Island of Patmos in the past days - that in many of our cities by now the procession of The body of the Lord it has become a memory. Even the Diocese of Rome did not have its procession this year: on the other hand, on the eve of The body of the Lord however, it was used to carry out the meeting conference on human fraternity entitled Not Alone, which also included the presence of the Holy Father, did not materialize due to the last surgery.

That of Rome is just one example of an elegant episcopal "apology". ― with lots of shrugs to those who instead point out the importance of such a gesture ― to leave our streets and squares to others, most of the time transformed into large open-air trattorias, in this sense it would be enough to take a tour of Piazza del Duomo in Florence to realize it …

Perhaps on this trend of throwing away all our traditions to be "politically correct" it would be better to make a serene but urgent reflection, even if the discomfort and suffering that the priests and consequently the faithful are experiencing in an ever greater form, it would seem to matter little or nothing.

Florence, 11 June 2023

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There was only one professional flea-hunting Italian politician who sighed about the way Volodymyr Zelensky violated protocol

THERE WAS ONLY ONE ITALIAN POLITICIAN PROFESSIONAL FLEA HUNTER WHO HAS SHIPPED ABOUT THE WAY VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYJ VIOLATED THE PROTOCOL

We are not talking about formalities or formalities, but of institutional protocol, which is not based on futile external forms, but it is based precisely on the respect due to those who welcome you: be the country, is its head of state, is its Prime Minister.

— News in brief —

Author
Editors of The Island of Patmos

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Autocrat of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky — because he is like his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin: an autocrat — he showed up on an official state visit to Italy with clothing that was not simply indecorous, but really disrespectful.

We are not talking about formalities or formalities, but of institutional protocol, which is not based on futile external forms, but it is based precisely on the respect due to those who welcome you: be the country, is its head of state, is its Prime Minister. Therefore, uno that it behaves this way denotes two things:
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1) I can afford everything;
2) i am me and you are not a … as the legendary Marchese del Grillo said in a famous film by Alberto Sordi that has now gone down in history.
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Complimentary for this hunting clothing&fishing they could even give him a cane … fishing. There had only been one, among our many professional flea-hunting politicians, that he sighed, only one.
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It must be recognized that Vladimir Putin, when he disrespects people and institutions he does it at least in a more subtle way ed “Elegant”, for example, showing up twice late on an official visit to the Supreme Pontiff: In the 2013 with 50 minutes and then to follow In the 2015 with an hour and 10 minutes of delay. Of the series: “I am the Tsar of Great Russia, I can afford this and more, but wanting more”.
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the Island of Patmos 14 May 2023

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.HTTPS://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltEAQNopUYM&t=2s

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"Crimes and Punishments". The inevitable extravagances of certain priests in the light of the Paschal Mystery

«OF CRIMES AND PENALTIES». THE UNMISSABLE EXTRAVAGANCIES OF CERTAIN PRIESTS IN THE LIGHT OF THE EASTER MYSTERY

In Education Sacramentum, it is perhaps written that for certain liturgical abuses, some of which are real "crimes", the penalty is foreseen, for example the suspension peep by the priest for a suitable period of time? Perhaps it is expected, for the more serious ones, removal from the office of pastor? No, because perhaps this way of doing would not be charitable and merciful, therefore our legislator exhorts, he instructs and in his own papers he laments with a broken heart, while the abuser continues to do so in the total lack of precise penalties.

— Liturgical ministry —

Author
Simone Pifizzi

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There is a famous work by Cesare Beccaria written in 1764 which is called Of crimes and punishments, where we speak above all of the promptness and certainty of punishment. How many times, in our country, especially in the face of situations of more or less widespread crime, we have heard the sentence and the lament "there is no certainty of punishment"? To tell the truth, what is missing is the application of the penalty, because in terms of existing, the penalties are there and they are written and well detailed. Instead we, on this issue Of crimes and punishments, we don't even question, because in the various documents and acts of the Magisterium of the Church in recent decades the word "sanction" or "penalty" does not exist at all, in fact, there are two essential things that are done in practice: he complains with a broken heart about certain situations that just don't go right, then it is exhorted with documents that are often called "exhortations" or "instructions" for this very reason, such as education Sacramentum, in which he instructs himself with a trembling and afflicted heart not to do certain things.

 

I went to browse the Criminal Law Code and the texts of various laws taken at random, and I found out, to my amazement, that a penalty is foreseen for every crime, which can be a penalty of a certain number of years in prison, or an administrative fine for less serious offences, through the obligation to pay an established sum of money. Accustomed as I am to the style of our documents, I wondered why, the legislator, it is not limited to exhorting and instructing that certain crimes are not committed, manifesting all his "powerless" pain for those who are committed instead.

In Education Sacramentum, it is perhaps written that for certain liturgical abuses, some of which are real "crimes", the penalty is foreseen, for example the suspension peep by the priest for a suitable period of time? Perhaps it is expected, for the more serious ones, removal from the office of pastor? No, because perhaps this way of doing would not be charitable and merciful, therefore our legislator exhorts, he instructs and in his papers he laments with a broken heart, while the abuser continues to do so in the total lack of precise penalties.

To talk about the theme of liturgical abuse, some of which have now been institutionalized and have become almost a norm in certain parishes or in certain Catholic lay groups, I will take what is the heart of our liturgy: Easter.

During this year's Easter Triduum 2023 between the evening of Holy Thursday and Saturday morning our Readers sent us photographs and films in front of which we Fathers of The Island of Patmos, that we have also sailed, as well as being aware of the extravagance of which some of our confreres are unfortunately capable, we found it hard to believe, even in front of photos and documents.

We offer you only a small overview of what reached the editorial office during the Holy Easter Triduum, especially regarding the repositioning of the Blessed Sacrament inside the Sepulchres at the altars of repositioning on Holy Thursday and what happened following Good Friday.

Holy thursday. A dining table with chairs was set up in a chapel in the relocation, set with tablecloth, dishes, cutlery and glasses, to one side the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament, probably to indicate that Our Lord Jesus Christ, instead of on the cross, he died at the end of a lunch attacked by a sudden apoplectic stroke. In another chapel of the reposition, the pyx with the Blessed Sacrament was placed on a table with a life ring around it, hanging life jackets were arranged instead of flowers, as if Our Lord Jesus Christ, instead of cross, died drowned in the sea while from Judea trying to land as a clandestine on the Mediterranean coast. And still to follow: the Blessed Sacrament placed on the altar of reposition in a microwave oven, apparently to symbolize how the Lord warms hearts (!?).

Altar of reposition perhaps inspired by musical: «Add a seat at the table that there is an extra friend, if you move a little’ the chair is comfortable too …» (Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Rutigliano)

Good Friday. The images and videos that have come down to us raise in us the serious question whether certain priests have ever read the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and whether during the initial formation and the performance of the sacred ministry to follow, have really understood what the Easter Triduum is, for example by reading a twentieth-century work written by the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, in Italian edition "The theology of the three days" (1969). Work that offers a meditation on the paschal mystery according to the scansion of the three days: the mystery of good friday (the cross in the life of Jesus, l'Eucharist, the agony), the mystery of Holy Saturday (in which Christ experiences the "second death"), the mystery of Easter as theology of the resurrection and glorification of the Son. Good Friday, day in which the passion of Christ the Lord is commemorated, during an austere and silent liturgy entirely centered on the adoration of the cross, it is never conceivable that one can sing to the sound of rhythmic guitars and tambourines cheerful school-camp songs, even chanting «hallelujah, hallelujah” in choruses of totally inappropriate and out of place songs? Has anyone perhaps forgotten the omission from the liturgy of the Gloria and Alleluia during the Lenten period, or the so-called "tied bells" on Holy Thursday which will ring again only on Easter day together with the singing of the Gloria and Alleluia to praise the Risen from the dead?

Another author who has guided us in the mystery of the Easter Triduum theology it was the Florentine Father Divo Barsotti, that in one of his sermons of 1987 explained the mystagogical meaning of the "descent into hell" of Jesus Christ, article of faith also contained in the Apostolic Creed in which we recite «[…] he suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; descended into hell; on the third day he rose from the dead". Let's ask ourselves: how many are the Catholic faithful today who understand the meaning of the "descent" into those hells also referred to in the ancient tradition as Sheol o Eden, the "kingdom of the dead" where the dead Jesus Christ descended with his soul united to his divine Person, to open the gates of heaven to the righteous who had preceded him (cf.. Catechism of the Catholic Church NN. 631-635).

Altar of reposition inside the punt with the nets, Church of the Good Shepherd of Diamante

The Easter Triduum, in its symbology, contains a great and wise pedagogy, a sum of catechesis for the people of believers, which certainly cannot end up debased by extravaganzas staged almost always in the name of the politically correct of the moment.

Let us now see what that Easter triduum is liturgically which concludes with what the Church indicates as the Mother of all Vigils, in the hope that it will serve as a reflection for next Easter 2024. IThe Easter Triduum is the reality of the Lord's Easter, celebrated liturgically and sacramentally in three days: on Good Friday, which makes a living memory of the Passion and Death of the Lord; on Holy Saturday, in which the Church stops at the sepulcher of the Lord; Easter Sunday which celebrates the glorious Resurrection of Christ. A characteristic of the Triduum celebrations is that they are organized as a single liturgy, for this reason the Mass of the Lord's Supper does not end with ite missa is (”Mass is over”), but in silence. The liturgical action on Friday does not begin with the usual greeting and with the Sign of the Cross and also ends without a greeting, in silence. Finally, the solemn vigil begins in silence and ends with the final greeting.

The Easter Triduum constitutes a single solemnity, the most important of the entire Catholic liturgical year. From the Gloria from Thursday Mass to that of the Vigil the bells must remain in liturgical silence. In ancient times, even musical instruments had to be silent on Holy Friday and Saturday, until the Easter Vigil, to better express the penitential meaning of these days. For this reason, many compositions by ancient authors for Good Friday were written for choir only. Today, however, the use of musical instruments is permitted during the celebrations of these days, even if only to support the singing.

Vertex and gravitational center of the entire Triduum it is the Solemn Easter Vigil in the Holy Night. With the celebration of Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Easter Triduum of the Passion begins on the evening of Holy Thursday, death and resurrection of Christ, culmination of the entire liturgical year and heart of the faith and prayer of the Church (cf.. SC 102). On Holy Thursday the Church commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus in which the Lord Jesus, the eve of the Passion, carried to the extreme his love for his own who were in the world, he offered his Body and Blood to the Father under the appearances of bread and wine and, giving himself as nourishment to his apostles, he commanded them to perpetuate the offering in his memory, effectively establishing the priesthood of the New Covenant. Obedient to the command of the Lord, the Church celebrates the Holy Supper, feeling committed to translating the style of service and fraternal love into everyday life (cf.. the sign of the washing of the feet, proper to the liturgy of Holy Thursday) which he has in the Sacrifice of the Lord, sacredly present in the Eucharist, its meaning and source. The texts used in this celebration underline the sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist and its character as a memorial of the Lord's sacrifice (other than “Cena Santa…”), announced and prefigured by the events of the Exodus of Israel from Egypt, with the symbol of the immolated lamb and the passage of the angel of the Lord to strike the firstborn of Egypt (I reading); "memorial" that the blessed Apostle Paul describes as a rite celebrated by Jesus in the paschal meal with his apostles, sign of the new and eternal Covenant between God and men, sealed and ratified with his own blood (II reading). Finally - closely linked to the two readings - the Gospel passage from John shows us Jesus who, despite being Master and Lord, he becomes a servant, washing the feet of his apostles. With this gesture, the Lord Jesus wanted to show that his mission was the greatest service that God offered to men to save them: wash them of sins and feed them with his Body and Blood.

The Preface of this Mass summarizes the ineffable mystery of divine love:

«True and eternal priest, he instituted the rite of perennial sacrifice; to you first offered himself a victim of salvation, and he commanded us to make the offering in his memory. His Body immolated for us is our food and gives us strength, his Blood shed for us is the drink that redeems us from all guilt».

At the end of Mass of the Lord's Supper Maundy Thursday, the Eucharist is placed and kept in the altar of Reposition, called in the popular language of some regions of southern Italy tomb. Improper term as it does not symbolize the death of Jesus but is the place to worship the Eucharist. The right term is altar O chapel of the Reposition. Let's talk about the church space set up, at the end of Mass of the Lord's Supper, to welcome the consecrated Eucharistic species, keeping them until the afternoon of Good Friday, when they will be distributed to the faithful for sacramental communion. The Sacred Species are thus placed away to be worshiped during the night. It is tradition that the altars of reposition are solemnly decorated, with flower arrangements or other symbols: they must not be the place of extravagance or the forcing of signs that have nothing to do with the sole purpose of inviting the faithful to adoration. The circular letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship of 16 January 1988 by title Preparation and celebration of Easter holidays specifies the following about the altar of reposition:

«The Sacrament is kept in a closed tabernacle. You can never make the exhibition with the monstrance. The tabernacle or custody must not have the shape of a sepulchre. Avoid the very term "sepulchre". In fact, the chapel of the reposition is set up not to represent "the burial of the Lord", but to keep the Eucharistic bread for communion, which will be distributed on Friday in the passion of the Lord. The faithful are invited to stay in the church, after Mass at the Lord's Supper, for a suitable amount of time during the night, for due adoration of the Blessed Sacrament solemnly kept there on this day. During the extended Eucharistic Adoration some part of the Gospel according to John can be read. After midnight, adoration should be done without solemnity, since the day of the Lord's passion has already begun" (NN. 55-56).

The circular letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship of 16 January 1988 entitled Preparation and celebration of the Easter feasts, he specifies the following about the altar of reposition: «The Sacrament is kept in a closed tabernacle. One can never exhibit with a monstrance"

Good Friday the Church celebrates the Passion and Death of her Lord and remains in loving contemplation and meditation of his bloody sacrifice, source of our salvation. By ancient tradition, the Church does not celebrate the Eucharist on this day, but only a solemn Liturgy of the Word, followed by the adoration of the cross and Holy Communion.

In front of the completely bare altar, after the prostration of the celebrant in the silence of the assembly and the introductory prayer, are proclaimed three readings:

– the fourth song of the Servant of IHWH (Is 52, 13-15; 53, 1-12), where in the figure of the servant loaded with our pains, chastised, smitten and humbled and yet will justify many and by whose stripes we have been healed, it is not difficult to recognize the figure of Jesus, the one who has sinned, it has become the disgust of neighbors and the horror of acquaintances (cf.. Salmo responsoriale) and that it is our only way of salvation.

– The second reading is taken from the letter to the Hebrews (cf.. 4, 14-16; 5, 7-9) and specifies that Christ the suffering servant of IHWH is the high priest who has been tested in everything and who becomes the cause of eternal salvation for those who obey him.

– The Gospel reports the story of the Passion according to John (cf.. 18, 1 – 19,42). The death of Jesus is the supreme revelation of God's love which is sacramentally prolonged over the centuries in the water (Baptismo) and in the Blood (Eucharist) and is intimately linked to the gift of the Holy Spirit and to the birth of the Church, represented by the Holy Virgin Mary and the Apostle John. The homily is then followed by a solemn universal prayer in which supplications are raised for the Church, dad, for all sacred orders and the faithful, for catechumens, for Christian unity, for Jews, for non-Christians, for those who don't believe in God, for the rulers and for the afflicted.

As a consequence of the word heard and accepted, then follows the solemn Adoration of the Cross, "scandalous" and prophetic gesture because it is no longer venerated as a simple instrument of infamous death, but as a tree of life, “thalamus, throne and altar to the body of Christ the Lord". The priest uncovers the cross three times, presenting it to the people as a trophy of victory and saying: «Here is the wood of the cross, on which Christ was hung, savior of the world"; the assembly responds to this invitation: "Come on, we worship!». The assembly then performs the gesture of adoration, remembering that Easter is already fulfilled at that moment, our salvation is accomplished in the blood of the immolated Lamb: « We adore your cross, man; we praise and glorify your holy resurrection. From the wood of the cross, joy has come all over the world". At the end of the adoration, the cross is placed near the altar, it too is a sign of Christ's sacrifice, offered to the Father for our salvation.

To the adoration of the cross, follows the Eucharistic Communion, with the sacred Species consecrated the previous day. The Commemoration of the Passion concludes with a prayer of blessing over the congregation, which then dissolves in silence.

Holy Saturday. The Roman Missal presents this day to us with these words:

«On Holy Saturday the Church stops at the sepulcher of the Lord, pondering his passion and his death, as well as the descent into hell, and waiting for his resurrection, in prayer and fasting. The sacred table stripped, the Church abstains from the sacrifice of the Mass until the solemn vigil or nocturnal expectation of the resurrection". The Church is called first of all to meditate on the fact that Jesus "died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Color 15, 3-4).

Contemplate what he professes in the Creed by stating "he descended into hell": Jesus Christ shows solidarity with the man to be saved, facing death in the certainty that he would have won it not only for himself, but for everyone. From this point of view, Holy Saturday is a day of great hope! On Holy Saturday the Christian is called to imitate the pious women who after the burial of Jesus "were there in front of the tomb" (Mt 27, 61). It is no small matter to stop us too, in an atmosphere of faith and love, to pray, meditate and contemplate: may be desert day, of prayer and enlightened hope in God who chose not only to die for us, but to rise again and make us sharers in his resurrected life.

The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night it is the apex and center of the whole Easter Triduum. Considered the “mother of all vigils”, in it the Church waits, watching, the resurrection of Christ and celebrates it in the sacraments (cf. Norms for the liturgical year and the calendar, 21). All the celebration of this Vigil, therefore, it must take place at night and finish before dawn on Sunday. This is the night par excellence, where the great sacraments of Christian initiation are celebrated (Baptismo, Confirmation, Eucharist), which communicate to the faithful the saving grace of Christ's paschal mystery. The Easter Vigil consists of four parts:

  1. Liturgy of light or skylight. The Vigil opens with the celebration of the Risen Christ as the light of the world. The priest blesses a blazing fire (generally prepared outside the Church) and prepare the paschal candle, carving a cross on it, the Greek letters A and W and the digits of the current year, following this pattern:

While making this gesture, acclaim Christ the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega, to which Time belongs, the centuries, glory and power. Engraving completed, the celebrant can inflict 5 grains of incense in the shape of a cross and while making this gesture he acclaims the holy wounds, glorious and saving graces of Christ. The Cero is lit on the new fire and a procession begins which heads towards the presbytery; during this procession he is acclaimed three times "Lumen Christi!” and the candles of the faithful and the lights of the Church are lit. Placed the candle in its candlestick, the deacon proclaims the solemn Paschal Preconium (said "Exulte”) a beautiful text that announces the glory of Christ's resurrection, summit of the whole history of salvation, started after Adam's sin, depicted in the Passover lamb, from the exodus, from the passage of the Red Sea, from the pillar of fire and fully realized by the dead and risen Christ. The Preconium is an enthusiastic song that, recapitulating all the great moments in the history of God and man, expresses the exultation of heaven and earth, because with the resurrection of Christ also the universe, bruised by sin, it resurrects and renews itself. A text that should be meditated on for a long time and even personally prayed for.

Liturgy of the Word. Completed the skylight, the celebrant invites us to listen to the Word to meditate «how in the old covenant God saved his people and in the fullness of time sent his Son to us as redeemer». Nine readings are then proclaimed (seven from the Old Testament and two from the New), with the aim of introducing the faithful to the meaning and importance of Easter in the life of the Church and of every Christian, in relation to the paschal sacraments (Baptismo, Confirmation and Eucharist) by which we died and were raised with Christ:

I reading: Gen 1, 1 – 2, 2: the creation

II reading: Gen 22, 1-18: the test of Abraham

III reading: Is 14, 15 – 15, 1: the passage of the Red Sea

Fourth reading: Is 54, 5-14: Your spouse is the Creator

V reading: Is 55, 1-11: All you thirsty come to the water

VI reading: Bar 3, 9-15. 32 – 4, 4: The eternal covenant

VII reading: This 36, 16-17a. 18-28: I will sprinkle you with pure water

Letter: RM 6, 3-11: Christ risen from the dead dies no more

Gospel: One of the three synoptics according to the liturgical cycle

Between the VII reading and the Epistle the Gloria and at the end of the Epistle – after the Lenten “fast” – theAlleluia.

Baptismal Liturgy: Since ancient times, the Church has linked the administration of Baptism with the Easter Vigil, immersion in the death of Christ and resurrection with him to new life. After the singing of the litanies of the saints, the baptismal water is blessed - with the particular gesture of dipping the Paschal candle in it three times - with which Baptism is administered and the assembly is sprinkled, after this has renewed the profession of faith with the baptismal promises.

The Vigil ends with the Eucharistic Liturgy, which becomes the fulfillment of all the highest and most significant celebration and thanksgiving addressed to the Father for having given us his Son who died and rose again for our salvation. In fact, the true Eucharist began with Easter, in which, until the end of the ages, the Church will acclaim «Christ the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world; Christ that, by dying he destroyed death and by rising he gave us life again" (Preface Pasquale I). And this is how the "Day of the Lord" begins, day of life without sunset, in which the duty of every believer is to "seek the things above" and to "hide one's life with the risen Christ in God".

I have a question for you all, and together with the question, I leave the burden of the answer to all of you: the central heart of the founding mystery of our faith, it is the resurrection of Christ, before which the Apostle Paul affirms that if he had not truly risen our faith and our hope would be completely in vain (cf.. The Cor 15, 12-15) it may perhaps be a reason and an occasion to launch oneself into extravagances that often risk transcending between desecration and outright sacrilege? Everything is possible, when exhorted, he educates himself, but transgressors are not punished, to do so would be a lack of mercy, a pity this yes, absolutely intolerable.

Florence, 12 May 2023

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Venerable Brother Priests, the Church is experiencing an unprecedented crisis and we are experiencing the most difficult of trials: the great test of faith

- Theological – Meditation for Holy Thursday -

Venerable Brother Priests, THE CHURCH IS EXPERIENCING AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS AND WE ARE EXPERIENCING THE DIFFICULT OF TRIALS: THE GREAT TEST OF FAITH

Today, if the disease is caught in time, many forms of cancer can be cured, but clericalism, especially that of the fakes and slimy hypocrites, it is a disease that risks being incurable, in addition to always being the worst metastasis that can spread in the body of the Church, compromising any research into a journey of faith in priests and the faithful.

 

 

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The severity I often use, combined where necessary with a completely casual but deliberate and above all scientific irony, leads me to speculate that maybe we don't have time to think about priests. It is probable that soon we will be able to post the notice «end of season sales» on the doors of our churches, or "bankruptcy sale". In Northern Europe it has been happening for some time, when in 2010 I went to carry out in-depth studies in Germany and was able to see buildings of ancient churches, until a few decades earlier parish communities, sold and converted into elegant shops, restaurants, hairdressing salons, some even in night club. In my book And Satan became triune published at the end 2010 I wrote: «[…] a swollen river is coming down from Northern Europe and will soon overwhelm us too».

Salvador Dali, Last Supper

The situation in many Italian dioceses is dramatic, the increasingly high shortage of clergy and the average age of certain presbyters has exceeded in many i 70 year old. The statistics of the large dioceses seem war bulletins, the mean is now equal to 10 deceased presbyters versus one or two newly ordained ones. In some dioceses priests have not been ordained for years while several have died over the same years. It is inevitable that within twenty years, but also before, the current ones 225 Italian dioceses will be reduced to 70 O 80 and that in the territories of those dioceses that ended up suppressed, composed today by 50 O 60 presbyters advanced in age, there will be only three or four priests to serve around the whole territory.

Under the pontificate of Benedict XVI, between 2005 and the 2013 there was a slight recovery in vocations, under that of the Supreme Pontiff Francis, between 2014 and the 2022 there has been a dramatic drop in admissions to seminaries and religious novitiates. The year 2022 has registered 1.045 deceased presbyters of the secular and regular clergy e 392 new ordinations of priests of the secular and regular clergy. Deceased presbyters exceed by 65% that of the newly ordained.

In Rome itself many ecclesiastical buildings of various religious orders and congregations have been sold and many others are in a state of agony. Pharaonic buildings now inhabited by four or five elderly men and women religious who will soon meet the same fate. And if this happens in Rome, I let you imagine what a great sale of ecclesiastical heritage is now underway throughout Italy.

In the face of this inexorable and irreversible decline, perhaps we are seriously thinking about an adequate formation of priests, to rethink the seminars structured today in an inadequate and in some ways anachronistic way, or to stake everything on a careful pastoral care of vocations which would involve first of all presenting true priests of Christ as models of life, not secularized priests similar to religious professionals or social workers, often reduced to compulsive celebrators of Holy Masses running from one parish to another, without any bishop wondering when they pray, when they study, when they take care of their priestly life? If there are no more priests to cover the parishes in the district, in this case one should proceed with the canonical suppression leaving only one parish and clearly saying to the faithful that they must stop demanding the church next door and travel four or five kilometers to go to Holy Mass, just like they do 40 O 50, seniors ahead of all, when it comes to going to the big shopping malls instead. If the families that make up the Christian community are no longer able to express vocations, it will be good that i believers of Christ they too assume their responsibilities, instead of trying to squeeze the priests until they are exhausted. However, as we know we live in the Church of the lack of assumption of responsibility, by the clergy on the one hand, of the faithful who are often selfish and lazy on the other hand.

To solve these now irreversible problems, instead of resorting to those unfortunately necessary radical choices, instead we tend to devise the worst expedients avoiding to deal with our failures that often cry out to heaven. There would be many examples, let's take just one: several bishops, with lots of solemn ceremonies, have already done so around Italy to entrust parish communities to some “acolyte” set up, or at best to permanent deacons through whom the ancient law was resurrected Dry mass[1], very popular between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, until after the liturgical reform of the Holy Pontiff Pius V it disappeared[2]. But, as happens when you think of taking big steps forward, one does nothing but go back to give tragic repetition to past history, especially to the most bankruptcy one. Because usually history always repeats itself twice: first as a tragedy and then as a grotesque farce[3].

THE PRIEST IS SUPERIOR THAN THE ANGELS OF GOD BUT REMAINS A FRAGILE SINNER

If the Word of God made man had wanted a Church formed by angelic entities would not have founded it on earth, but in that Celestial Jerusalem of which the Blessed Apostle John speaks to us in chapter XXI of the Apocalypse. Instead, he founded it on earth, using men corrupted by original sin (cf.. GN 2,17) and exposed to the corruption of sin.

During the Last Supper, by instituting the Most Holy Eucharist as a living mystery of his presence and by consecrating the Apostles as priests of the New Covenant, made them sharers in the ministerial priesthood of Christ the High Priest (cf.. EB 2,17; 4,14). By consecrating them priests he thus elevated them in dignity above the very Angels of God[4]. This dignity does not prevent the man-priest from falling into sin or from being a real spreader of sin on certain occasions, in the most serious and rare cases it can even happen that the priest turns into a corruptor capable of creating structures of sin within the Church. Just think what Judas Iscariot was capable of doing, he too had received, like all the chosen Apostles, the first Eucharist and priestly consecration.

There are various passages of the Holy Gospel which highlight all the human frailties of the Apostles, starting with Peter chosen by Christ as Head of the Apostolic College, that shortly after receiving his investiture (cf.. Mt 16, 30-20) he fled first in the face of danger, denying the Divine Master three times, as reported by the stories of the three Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. In the account of the Evangelists Mark and Matthew it is specified that Peter, the third time he was asked if he knew the man, "he began to curse and swear: "I do not know the man!”». In the Jewish culture of the time, swearing falsely or bringing up the name of God with an oath was considered a very serious crime that could even be punished with death. Yet Peter, the first Head of the College of the Apostles, he did this: he cursed and swore falsely that he did not know the Christ.

In the period following the resurrection of Christ and after receiving the grace gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (cf.. At 2, 1-41), Peter was harshly rebuked in Antioch by the Apostle Paul who accused him of ambiguity and hypocrisy (cf.. Gal 2, 11-14). Incidentally: I don't know that anyone has ever accused the Blessed Apostle of being arrogant or more simply inappropriate in his critical expressions, on the contrary, I understand that great credit must still be paid to him today, because if it had been for Peter's "hypocrisy" and "ambiguity" or for a certain "integralism" of James the Greater, today we would not be what we are, but only a Judeo-Christian sect. As such we would not have survived, how Judaism did not survive as a religion after the 70 D.C.. with the fall of the Temple. Indeed, today's Judaism, it is only a pantomime of what was the ancient Jewish religion, suffice it to say that the priestly castes and consecration rituals that were all closely linked to the Temple have disappeared. These elements of which I wrote in my substantial essay of 2006: bitter herbs, the century of Zionism.

There is a dramatic passage from the Gospel of the Passion of Christ where the arrest of the Lord is narrated, before whom these words resound: "Then all the disciples left him and fled" (Mt 26, 56). If we think about it, that was the only council of the Church where all the Fathers were unanimous in the decision. To build your own church, visible image of the body of which He is the head and we are members as illustrated by the Blessed Apostle Paul (cf.. With the 1, 18), Christ chose men burdened with all their limitations, weaknesses and inadequacies, who fled before the arrest of the Divine Master.

The Catholic faithful, but also people distant from the Church or even non-believers, they often expect the priest to have that purity of life which they do not have and which, if anything, they do not even want to have. Sometimes the Catholic faithful tend to have a surreal idea of ​​the priest completely separated from the reality of the sacred ministry, refusing to understand that exercising it today is much more difficult than it used to be 100 Years ago, but also and only 50 Years ago.

The priest, for the sacrament of grace with which he was marked and for the sacred ministry to which he is called, he can end up being subject much more than others to the temptations of the devil, because he is the dispenser of grace through the sacred mysteries, for this reason he will be furious with the consecrated in a particular way. And this was one of the first lessons I learned when I did the training courses for exorcists.

WITHOUT THE USE OF THE HISTORICAL ELEMENT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DO THEOLOGY NOR IS IT POSSIBLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND CERTAIN SITUATIONS ROOTED IN THE CLERGY, BUT IF YOU DO NOTICE, READY THE ANSWER OF THE CLERICAL MANIPULATING THE HOLY GOSPEL: "WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?»

One of my main trainers it was the Jesuit Peter Gumpel (1923-2022), eminent historian of dogma, which transmitted to me the fundamental importance of history in the study of dogmatics, still a subject of my interest and research. A dogmatic theologian lacking solid foundations given by adequate historical knowledge, can seriously risk not having a real perception of the foundations of faith ending up getting lost in the hyperuranium of dream metaphysics. Behind the great dogmatic councils, starting from the First Nicene to follow with the First Constantinopolitan who define the fundamental truths and who elaborate our Symbol of Faith, there is a complex and articulated history intertwined with articulated political events and difficult relationships that already existed at the time between the Church of the East and that of the West.

Clerics have always experienced cyclical moments of decline serious doctrinal and moral issues. If anyone doesn't know the story, it is useless if you take it out on me that in writings or interventions I often highlight certain current ecclesial and ecclesiastical tendencies. I can only smile at certain "delicate souls" who judge my words as a sort of attack on clerical treason, given that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ (cf.. With the 1, 18), not a closed circle transformed into a "structure of sin" full of "filth"[5], to be covered and protected in every way with destructive attitudes towards anyone who dares to exercise the precious critical gift given by the freedom of the children of God. Those who act with clerical conspiratorial attitudes demonstrate first of all in a disturbing way that they do not know the works of many Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church who used forms of severity and harshness of language far superior to mine. However, it may be that they have never read the writings in which San Pier Damiani condemns with fiery tones the practice of sodomy widespread among the clergy[6], or the text addressed by St. Bernard of Chiaravalle to the Supreme Pontiff Eugene III in which he illustrates how he is surrounded by pimping and simoniac prelates who only looked to their dirty interests[7], or Saint Catherine of Siena who, invited to Avignon, replied to the Supreme Pontiff that she did not need to visit her court because the stench she emanated was felt right from her city[8], up to the most recent criticisms of the mediocrity and immorality of the episcopate and clergy of Sant'Alfonso Maria de' Liguori[9] or to the critical analyzes of Blessed Antonio Rosmini who complained of the ignorance of the clergy[10]. All in all, the same things I complain to those who clinging to stylistic forms or to the fateful «who are you to judge?» - with which they would like to shut up any critical thought - they show that they do not know what is much worse and in a much more severe tone many Holy Fathers and doctors of the Church have said and written. Then it would be enough to know the disciplinary canons of certain councils, for example the IV Lateranense del 1215, where one by one the bad habits of the clergy are indicated, arranging their correction with recourse to severe penalties. And why, the Council of Trent, about clergymen, bishops and priests, established certain precise and rigid rules? To understand it, it would be enough to know what happened in the clergy during the Renaissance and the answer would soon be given.. Then, if we want to touch the state of degradation in which our clergy fell in the thirties of the twentieth century, in that case it would be enough to read the Encyclical Back to the Catholic Priesthood written in 1935 by Pope Pius XI, through the lines of which the picture is soon made and supplied. Request: it's just those subjects who tear their clothes accusing me of using harsh and severe tones, or clinging to the expressive form, unable to deny the substance, they are simply and clearly ignorant obtuses on a historical and ecclesiological level who claim to treat and manage the Church as if it were a mafia clan governed by principles of silence?

Also in this case the answer of the clerical dull is soon given: «Perhaps you want to compare yourself to certain Holy Fathers and doctors of the Church? Ah, what arrogance, what arrogance!». This typical accusation of those who react by distorting and manipulating both reality and what you said, since I have never compared myself to certain saints, I just tried to take an example from them, for the simple fact that I too am called to holiness like all the baptized, given that holiness is by no means an unattainable goal, but a goal that we are all called to reach. Even Jesus Christ was slapped in the Sanhedrin and rebuked «How dare you answer the High Priest like this?» (GV 18, 22). Obviously the manipulative clerical has the answer ready: “Perhaps you want to compare yourself to Jesus Christ?». Of course not, but they are in all respects one old christ and as such I must imitate him and conform to him, at least that was what the Bishop told me when he consecrated me a priest. For this I answer as Jesus Christ: "If I spoke badly, show me where the evil is; but if I have spoken well, why do you strike me?» (GV 18, 23). The reply of the clerical manipulator is ready: «The problem is not the substance but the form, the way you say things". This is because for the obtuse and manipulative clerical to set us free is not the truth at all (cf.. GV 8,32), but the form in which the truth is spoken, because the form is always and far superior to the substance of truth. Perhaps this was not what Saint Anselm of Aosta taught, St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Fathers of classical scholasticism, that is, that accidents are superior to substances? But how arrogant he was Tommaso da Kempis who wrote the famous work Imitation of Christ. How can you think you are proud to the point of assuming you can imitate Christ? That is why I affirm and I never tire of reiterating that clericalism is worse than atheism. Because the atheist denies God, the obtuse clerical manipulates and falsifies God and his Word to impose his own worst human miseries as the supreme law.

All this is called the mystery of iniquity, the Blessed Apostle Paul clearly speaks of it, saying that "the mystery of iniquity is already taking place" (2 Ts 2, 1). Very precise theological element before which, the worst that can be done, it is to get irritated before those who face this mystery, analyzes it and, if necessary, highlights it to shake even the increasingly narcotized consciences of certain clergymen, always quick to get annoyed if anyone dares to point out evil for what it is: male.

Twenty years ago the Holy Pontiff John Paul II he raised yet another alarm speaking of a «silent apostasy» and writing in this regard that «European culture gives the impression of a "silent apostasy" on the part of the satiated man who lives as if God did not exist»[11].

In this decadence and in this rejection of the sacred and we priests too have immersed ourselves in the transcendental, there is little to cry out to the scandal if I say that today, the worst form of atheism is that of clerical atheism. It is enough just to observe how certain priests celebrate the Holy Mass, to then ask themselves in a reasonable way to say the least if they really believe in what they do, or if they have completely forgotten when the Bishop told them: "Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, conform your life to the mystery of the cross of Christ the Lord "[12].

YESTERDAY'S PRIEST WAS PROTECTED INSIDE AND OUT, TODAY IT IS FREE OF BOTH EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL PROTECTION

Up to half a century ago the priest lived in social contexts in which he was protected as a man and as a sacred figure by society and its own structures. Unworthy priests and sinners who have broken the rules have always existed, but until a few decades ago they lived in socio-cultural contexts in which they were protected. Therefore, the priest who had behaviors that were not appropriate to his own status priest violated the rules and committed his sins in a climate of total concealment, avoiding giving public scandal, because he had very clear in himself what was good and what was evil. This is because even to members of society who are lukewarm towards the faith or even to non-believers themselves it was clear what was good and what was evil. So if the priest was wrong, or if he committed sins, he was aware of making mistakes and of sinning and did everything possible to ensure that his sin did not cause public scandal. Add to this that in past eras, also recent, there weren't the means of communication and control that there are today, where in the era of the social we all live prominently displayed in a public square, while news travels from one part of the world to another in seconds. Today the priest lives inserted within a society which, in addition to not protecting him, tries to convince him that evil is good and good is evil, inducing the weak to fall into the worst vices and perversions.

Once the priest was socially considered a moral authority even by those who rejected Catholic doctrine and morals, but that although they were hostile to Catholicism, they recognized in the priest a precise figure. Today the Catholic Church, the Roman Pontiff, bishops and priests are used to make non-comic or satire, something that has always existed since the times of the great Giovanni Boccaccio and Pietro l'Aretino. With the excuse of comedy and satire which in reality are not however such, an attempt is made to deprive the Church and its clergy of any authority, authority and spiritual and supernatural foundation, often in a subtle way, violent and destructive. Added to this are those priests who demean the sacred mysteries by transforming the Eucharistic Sacrifice which is renewed during the celebration of Holy Mass into show extravagant almost always the result of the self-centered narcissism of the priest and his almost absent sense of the sacred.

For this and various other reasons I often say to the confreres of which I am confessor and spiritual director that the Devil is a concentrate of pure intelligence who over the centuries has understood that persecutions and the blood of martyrs have always purified and strengthened the Church, giving it strength and lifeblood. The new technique he has adopted today is terrible: make us die in ridicule. And priests can also be prepared to die as martyrs for their faith, knowing full well that it could be an entirely possible possibility, written in its own way in our indelible and eternal priestly character. While no one was prepared to die submerged in ridicule. Unfortunately, this is the death that attempts are made to reserve for the Church and its clergy: the ridiculous. And in the face of social rejection and total indifference that often frustrates any attempt at pastoral activity, not a few are the priests who end up going into crisis. Some seriously, especially those with thirty or forty years of sacred ministry who often end up wondering what their usefulness is, whether they are useful for anything and what? Those who ask themselves these questions are almost always painful and dramatic, however much they live in a state of crisis, they are good priests who have always believed and who believe in their mission. Then there are the others, who go hand in hand with the world and who do everything to please the world and to please it. These seconds are almost always bad priests who are difficult to help and recover, also because they are totally withdrawn into the worst forms of secularization and they really don't think about being helped or recovered.

THE CRISIS OF THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH AND MORALITY, IN ADDITION TO THE PROBLEM OF IGNORANCE OF MALFORMED AND DEFORMED PRIESTS

In several of my books and articles written in the last few 15 years I have explained - and I believe also demonstrated - how, animated by naive good intentions, from the mid-1960s onwards we tried to meet the world and to please contemporary society at all costs, which had set out towards the decadence of human and moral values. In doing this we have forgotten that the purpose of the Church is not to please the world but to combat its serious illnesses. And this too we were told:

"If the world hates you, know that it hated me before. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you from the world, that's why the world hates you " (GV 15, 18-19).

A misunderstood spirit of the Council fomented by those who have never studied the documents of Vatican Council II well or thoroughly and who have created a personal council of their own for this, ever written by the Fathers of the Church, ended up generating a crisis of doctrine which in turn gave rise to a crisis of faith which finally resulted in a devastating moral crisis of the clergy, much of which, especially in certain corners of the world, it is living in conditions of secularization that have long passed all levels of danger.

The Holy Pope Paul VI, that of the Second Vatican Council convened by the Holy Pontiff John XXIII was the ferryman, besides the one who carried his cross, before the undeniable evidence of certain drifts both doctrinal and secularist he said:

«It was believed that after the Council a sunny day would come for the history of the Church. Instead, a cloudy day came, of storm, of dark, of research, of uncertainty»[13].

In those years, one of the masters of the Roman School, Antonio Piolanti, who perished at the council, faced with certain extravaganzas that began to spread in the early seventies of the twentieth century he used to repeat from his chair at the Lateran:

«This is not the Council, none of this was written by the Council, May! This is just the para-council of eccentric priests and theologians, which has nothing in common with the Second Vatican Council and its documents!»

Every day I touch situations of grave immorality firsthand spread among the clergy, but in science and conscience I can say and just as easily demonstrate that it is often not the fault of the priests but of the inadequate and superficial way in which they were formed and brought to the priesthood. Often, blame, it belongs to the bishops who have even forgotten the etymological meaning of the word bishop and that they have gravely failed to watch over and look after their clergy, avoiding consecrating priests who are immature subjects without human qualifications, moral and spiritual.

In many ecclesiastical universities and theological institutes teach more sociology and political science instead of the foundations of solid doctrine and basic Catholic theology which are the only ones capable of giving priests a foundation and above all strong pastoral motivations which are not based on ephemeral emotions, but on transcendence. At that point the damage is quickly done: many priests today no longer even know the meaning of certain words and for this reason they misunderstand them in a gravely wrong way. For example, I have often heard priests say, even during homilies: "Enough with these absolutisms ... today we are no longer the Church of the absolute that thinks it has the only truth in its pocket" (!?). However, this is not what we find written in the document of the Second Vatican Council The joy and hope which addresses the delicate issue of the relationship between the Church and the contemporary world. To follow up with priests who use terms such as "dogmatic" or "Tridentine" in a negative or even offensive sense, thus manifesting a frightening ignorance which, combined with arrogance, is pleased with itself. Dear Bishops, but to these subjects who trained them, above all: who made them priests? And I say ignorance because even the humblest of priests become such only after a simple but good basic training, should know that thanks to the Council of Trent the Church was first of all purified from many corruptions and above all it opened the doors to the great evangelization, ceasing in the following ones 100 years of being a mainly European phenomenon to spread to all the continents of the world. The Council of Trent also marked a glorious season of great male and female saints of charity, of the great pedagogues and doctors who created extraordinary institutes and training structures, assistance, education of poor childhood and evangelization. This was the Council of Trent used today in a negative sense by certain ignorant people who take pleasure in their own ignorance by ruling: "Ah, these old dogmatisms that reek of mothballs … Ah, what a Tridentine spirit!». That of Trent was a grandiose council that the Fathers of the future Vatican Council II appreciated and wisely referred to in all their fundamental documents, starting with the Constitutions The light e God's word.

Statements like that are utter nonsense, but let's see why some pronounce them with casual conviction. First of all because they confuse the term "absolute" - which in all Judeo-Christian religions, in metaphysical philosophy, in dogmatic theology and fundamental theology it has a precise meaning linked to the absoluteness of the revealed faith[14] ― with what is instead "absolutism" of a political nature. The Holy Gospel is full of categorical and absolute expressions uttered by Jesus Christ, for instance: «I am the way, the truth and the life " (GV 14,6). Christ provides no other options, but it offers only one and absolute, because he, the Incarnate Word of God is the Absolute generated not created by the Absolute, in the same way that the Holy Spirit is the Absolute who proceeds from God the Father and God the Son, being in turn God the Holy Spirit. And when in the Symbol of Faith we profess to believe in the one Church, santa, catholic and apostolic, we state an absolute, as in various other parts of the I believe we mention others, given that Christ on Earth founded only one Church, not a multiplicity of churches.

If the formation of the priest it is done in a superficial way without being provided with very solid foundations, as soon as he finds himself inserted as a priest in the world, it risks ending up like a reed broken by the wind, if not worse: become a real corrupter of the People of God.

THOSE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO HANDLE SOLITUDE SHOULD NOT BECOME A PRIEST

Loneliness is that unwelcome companion which often follows the priest throughout his life, unless one changes into Christological solitude, for this you will not regret having chosen it. Christ too, in the most tragic hours of his life, remained alone, abandoned by those same people whom he had chosen as witnesses and companions of his existence and whom he had loved to the end (cf.. GV 13, 1), but he declared: "I'm not alone, because the Father is with me" (GV 16, 32). If some priests, instead of inventing an egocentric council never celebrated by the Fathers of the Church, really studied the documents of the Second Vatican Council and certain documents of the subsequent magisterium of the Holy Pontiff Paul VI, many of our dramatic problems would be solved by reading the Encyclical alone Priestly Celibacy published 24 June 1967.

Hence the moments of solitude they are always precious spaces of life, that it is better indeed to carve out and live, because they favor deep prayer, reflection and spiritual meditation on the mystery of life and death. Often, during spiritual directions, I happen to ask the priests: ... you, you never meditate on death? If the priest replies jokingly to this question by saying «Ah, but to think about death there is time!», or if worse, I am told «I am so busy in so many activities that I really don't think about death» … that's it, in that case I immediately understand that there is a lot to work on the spirituality of the priest, or perhaps on his weak or sometimes even absent spirituality. There are too many priests who unfortunately do not distinguish themselves at all from those who may be free volunteers of non-governmental associations, too many and more and more. With some it is possible to work, also getting good results, unfortunately not with others, because the basic formation of the priest was lacking.

But there is also another kind of loneliness, that which arises from forms of abandonment or isolation. There are not a few priests left to their own devices by their bishops engaged in completely different matters which they always say are more important, to be able to take care of their own priests. At that point, first of all, the disaffection between the priest and his own bishop arises. Serious and dangerous thing, because the priesthood of the priest is intimately and inseparably linked to the fullness of the apostolic priesthood of the bishop[15]. As soon as the priest begins to feel abandoned by the bishop and his brothers, they too busy themselves in many things always and strictly more important than the priestly fraternity, little by little he begins to isolate himself. And from these two dangerous elements that are "isolation" and "loneliness" can truly be born of anything and more.

I would like to avoid going into certain details, so I will try to delicately give at least an idea of ​​my ministry with priests, explaining what that loneliness that generates abandonment and consequent sense of isolation can lead to. Here then are cases of priests who fall into more or less serious forms of depression, who fall into alcoholism, some in drug use, others in the very harmful addiction to the internet with all that this tool can entail and offer, or in acquaintances with people and environments so to speak ... very disreputable. Priests who feel useless because they would like to give but who believe they are paying or have been placed in the condition and impossibility of being able to give…

PRIESTS ARE THE MOST DELICATE WITH WHICH A PRIESTS CAN HAVE TO DEAL WITH

I have stopped discussing with certain bishops ever since I understood that if you haven't received the gift of fatherhood, or more simply you never substantially acquired and developed it, it certainly isn't infused into you the moment they put a ring on your hand, a mitre on the head and they begin to call you "Reverend Excellency".

How they solved certain problems some very farsighted bishops? Soon said: by making psychologists available to priests, preferably women, some of which even come from the Freudian and Lacanian school. At that point why not directly give the chair to philosophical courses in the theological studies where our future priests are trained to Marxist ideologues? Let's clarify: that a priest may need a good specialist in psychiatry is quite possible. I myself am in close contact with two good and expert Catholic psychiatrists to whom I have referred several times my confreres who clearly needed clinical-psychiatric support, or because they were in depressive states, or because they suffer from obsessional neuroses, or because you suffer from various other ailments. But a spiritual director cannot, nor can it ever be replaced with a "diocesan psychologist", because to help a priest and heal the wounds of his soul, another priest is always needed, no one else can. And on this all-German modern mania of distributing "women's quotas" within the Church in a purely political and ideological way, I really prefer to hold off, I am so annoyed by certain intrusive committed and militant Catholics who, if they could, would throw us out to celebrate Holy Mass in our place..

For priests, find a good confessor It's getting harder, also because confessing a priest is a very delicate thing. Finding a good spiritual director is more difficult than finding a good confessor. If in fact the confessor is the one who absolves you from your sins, the spiritual director is the one who directs your steps on the path of faith and priestly life, which helps you in your ongoing formation for the priesthood and to rekindle the gift that is within you[16]. The one who if necessary, with that prudence and foresight fruit of the gifts of grace of the Holy Spirit, tells you what to do or, in case of necessity, it dictates to you precisely what is appropriate to do or not to do.

Between one sociology and another we came up with a new term that some have found more appealing than “spiritual direction”, that of … “spiritual accompaniment” (!?). Again it is necessary to clarify: direct e accompany they are two totally different things. Unfortunately some clergymen have learned nothing from the clamorous social and educational failures that took place a few decades ago, when in the inglorious 1970s wild psychology launched the fad of "parent friends", in a flourishing of little thoughts and school subjects in which the children explained: “… my dad is my best friend”, while the girls wrote that "my mom is my best friend". And once they became teenagers they found themselves with uneducative mothers who claimed to do the teenager going to dance with the daughters, if not worse by stealing the boyfriends from the daughters.

The parent, father and mother, they are quite another thing. They are not bosom friends who accompany, it is the educators who direct the children, the firm and fundamental point of their growth, those who, if necessary, raise their voices and say no, or that if necessary they prohibit doing a wrong and harmful thing.

Healing the soul of a priest it is as difficult as it is for one doctor to treat another doctor, or as for a surgeon to bring another surgeon into the operating room.

NEITHER I CONDEMN YOU. AND NOW GO AND SIN NO MORE!

When finally many priests took courage and spilled the beans telling me the worst things and their worst deeds, sometimes one head is enough, often crying, they asked me: "But you, don't feel disgust for me?». With much affection I reminded them of the passage from the Holy Gospel of the Blessed Evangelist John which tells of the prostitute who was about to be stoned. But first, i farisei, they put a provocative question to Jesus «Master, this woman was caught in adultery. now Moses, in the Law, He commanded us to stone such women. What do you think?». He answered them: "Which one of you is without sin, be the first to throw the stone at her ". Then he said to the woman: "Neither do I condemn; will’ and from now on sin no more " (GV 7, 53-8,11).

That public sinner is a real person, but at the same time a paradigm, because we are all prostitutes and none of us could throw the first stone and boast that we have not sinned. This is why I have always answered the question of certain sufferers by saying that I did not feel disgust but a sense of loving kindness for the repentant sinner whom I could only say in a priestly conscience ... neither do I condemn you, now go in peace with God and from now on sin no more.

That a sinner can absolve another sinner of sin, or that one sinner can lead another sinner to the right path, it is not illogical, but it has always been one of the main ones ratio of the great mystery of faith. The Blessed Apostle Paul writes «Where sin abounded, abounded grace » (RM 5, 20) and on Easter night, when blessing the candle symbol of the light of the risen Christ, on the words of Aquinas is sung in the Preconium: “O happy guilt, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!»[17].

The worst thing you can do with an afflicted sufferer, humbled and repented of his sin, is to invest it with reproaches and moral judgments. In practice as if the doctor of an emergency room, instead of closing an open bleeding wound, put salt on it.

TO BE A SCHOLAR IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BECOME A PRIESTS

Theology cannot be mere speculation intellectual end in itself, but a prayerful and incessant search for the truth, this thing that is achieved only by praying and studying, but above all, always keeping the warning fixed on the horizon: "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free" (GV 8, 31), that is to say that truth of which we are servants and certainly not masters. Or as St. Thomas Aquinas said: "You're not you who possess the truth, but the truth that owns you". I consider it unacceptable, indeed aberrant that priests-theologians who have no concrete relationship with real pastoral life are still tolerated today, who have not entered a confessional for years, who teach academic lectures but who do not preach in churches or who would not even know where to begin in giving the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick. It is unacceptable that the activity of these subjects is limited to the celebration of Holy Mass in the morning in a chapel of elderly nuns and then devote themselves to completely different matters. This kind of priests are not theologians, but real monsters. Personally I have never been able to conceive theology separated from concrete ecclesial life, pastoral and sacramental. The priest, the one who carries out the ministry of parish priest in a particular way, has precise responsibilities towards the People of God, based on the principle of priority. Example: pious women are not sent to bring Holy Communion to the sick because, according to them, they are engaged in imperative … pastoral activities (!?) If I were the bishop of certain priests, I would not hesitate to severely call them back, specifying that if on the one hand there is the parish council or an evening with young people and on the other a sick person to visit, the priest leaves the council and the young people and goes to the infirm, instead of sending the pious woman there. Let us then pass over those parish priests who give everyone the key to the tabernacle but would never give anyone the key to the box where they keep their money or to their personal car. We fly over, given that we are the custodians of the Most Holy Eucharist and certainly not of the money, in addition to the fact that if the bishops have to recall the priests, often they do it for such laughable and ridiculous things that they bring to mind the filtered gnat and the swallowed camel (cf.. Mt 23, 24).

THEY ARE NOT INTERESTING YOUR WORKS, COUNT THE SHAPE. THAT VULGAR AND INDEPENDENT SUBJECT OF JESUS ​​CHRIST WHO SERIOUSLY DEFECTED IN FORM

It is necessary to resort to a personal example which I would avoid if I could, but unfortunately it is useful to make the idea clear. One of the various priests I have assisted who after a few years came out of a bad depression, to various of his intimates and confreres he said: “If that evening, after a long telephone conversation, Ariel had not left at 17 of the afternoon from where he was, to make 500 kilometers and reach me just before midnight, perhaps, in the morning, they would have found me dangling with a rope attached to my neck". Even despite, in the face of my pastoral work, it happened that letters were addressed to me several times solely to raise reproaches based on the «… they told me that… some have complained about some of your writings… about the tones you use…». My writings perhaps contain elements or expressions in contrast with the doctrine of the faith and Catholic morality? Obviously not, I defend and spread the doctrine of the faith and Catholic morality. So? Soon said: the shape. Evidently, who sticks to the form, he never read Jesus Christ's invectives against the scribes and Pharisees, you are already waiting, perhaps he has not quite grasped both the form and the substance (cf.. Mt 23, 1-39). To understand the scope and the offensive gravity, it would be enough to set aside the surreal Gospel made up of dances to the rhythm of the bongos of certain Neocatechumenals, or that of the little stars and the beating hearts and the emotional fainting of certain charismatics and focolarini to learn a bit of new testamentary exegesis. For instance, let us see what it meant to address high notables and members of the priestly caste in these tones:

"Whited sepulchres: outside they are beautiful to look, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness ".

Let's clarify: the law, namely the Gone and the Talmud they considered the corpse to be the quintessence of impurity. Ai Priests members of the priestly caste in particular were forbidden not only to have contact with corpses, but they could not even come close to the burial places, because they would fall into a state of impurity (Impurity). To come back pure (Purity) they would have had to undergo long and meticulous purification rituals for the duration of 30 days. Soon said: if Jesus Christ had addressed them saying And it's total shit (you are pieces of shit), for the Jewish culture of the time and before the Law it would have been much less offensive. Not to mention the epithet «race of vipers», an offense of unprecedented gravity, not only because the snake was the most impure animal (Impurity), but because it was the quintessential biblical symbol of evil. Not only does Jesus Christ compare these “clergymen” to serpents, because it does much worse: calls them "race". Terrible thing, because it not only offends them, but even the entire ancestry of their ancestors. Soon said: the well-known Roman expression «them your mortacci» in comparison it is really nothing. there, I would have liked those who only one they sent me the usual letter to inform me "they told me that ... they protested because ...", had invited certain susceptible clericals to study the true meaning of certain New Testament expressions, because of the two things one excludes the other: or are they ignorant, or we read and preach just two different Gospels. The Gospel that was placed in my hand and delivered first when I was ordained a deacon and then when I was consecrated a priest is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not the one produced by the Perugina industry which puts papers with tender poignant thoughts inside its chocolate kisses. To me the Bishop said "conform yourself to the cross of Christ", in accordance with the command of the Divine Master who invites us to take up our cross and follow him (LC 9, 23). No one ever told me to conform to Perugina and throw handfuls of chocolate kisses at the believers of Christ, or to announce a Gospel watered down just enough not to irritate and offend any emotional little heart. And the cross is very "ugly" both in form and in substance, it is such an infamous instrument of torture that Roman citizens could not be condemned to it execution in the manner of the ancestors, not even the worst criminals[18]. For this Peter, Jew, was sentenced to crucifixion, Paul, a Roman citizen, instead he was beheaded, because as a Roman citizen he could not be crucified.

Of course, I laugh at certain protests, because I don't think they deserve tears, if in fact one has to suffer, it's good to do it for serious things, not for gods clerical permals that humiliate those who express them and certainly not those who are subjected to them, always based on the principle of how some are partly good and partly irrational when they decide to avoid the gnat and then swallow a whole camel (cf.. Mt 23, 24).

«YOU CRITICIZED THE SUPREME PONTIFF»

I wish to clarify this false accusation which has been addressed to me several times: who extrapolates a sentence from my writings or books, he manipulates her and then accuses me of having criticized the Supreme Pontiff, lie and tell lies. In my priestly life I have always applied the principle of the Holy Father and Doctor of the Church Ambrogio Bishop of Milan who said:

“Tell the Pope that after Jesus Christ only he comes for us and that we love and venerate him, but also tell him that the head that God gave us we do not intend to just use it to put a hat on».

It is true that over the years I have criticized certain speeches and pastoral choices of the Supreme Pontiff Francis; it is true that I felt deeply hurt seeing the Supreme Pontiff wash my feet at the Mass of the Lord's Supper to prisoners and prostitutes on the day in which the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist and of the Priesthood is celebrated; it is true that I was embarrassed to see him in Lund next to an openly lesbian "archbishop" and cohabiting with his partner clad in episcopal insignia; it is true that I published a book in which I express my perplexities about the sociological expressive style and the lack of clarity that winds through some pages of love joy, but I have never criticized its magisterial contents. There are dozens of my articles that testify with what fidelity, if necessary, with what harshness I have called certain priests and faithful to the obedience that we are bound to pay to the Roman Pontiff, which may be subject to criticism, indeed it must be, for his own good and for his Petrine ministry. Always clarifying that it is one thing to criticize off-the-cuff conversations, or during the study phases of certain problems, when everything can and must be disputed, But, if the Supreme Pontiff publishes an act of magisterium or gives a disposition in the form of motu proprio, in that case it is obeyed, it is performed and certain faithful are reminded that they are capable of placing themselves as judges above the Chair of Peter, that if the Successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter establishes and disposes, every conversation is closed, one must only pay him homage in the obedience of faith.

Maybe someone wants to deny that over the years I have raised questions and proposed solutions which later became acts of the magisterium given in the form of motu proprio? I mention one among many: Keepers of Tradition. Two years before the release of this document, I published a critical article where I explained that it would have been appropriate to revoke it, or at least correct the motu proprio of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, than in 2007 granted the use of the Missal of Saint Pius V, soon transformed into a pretext by many circles of so-called "traditionalists" who used it as a mace to attack the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform of the Holy Pontiff Paul VI. Different opinions can exist and coexist in the Church, which are always an important and precious stimulus, however, not two parties fighting over a delicate matter such as the sacred liturgy, because the Eucharist is the heart of the unity of the Church and no one can use it to create ideological divisions.

I have always said and affirmed that the Supreme Pontiff Francis he is a man burdened like all of us by his own limitations and defects, but I always added and repeated: the Blessed Apostle Peter denied the Divine Master three times, imprecations, swearing falsely and fleeing. The Holy Father Francis, elected by a conclave of cardinals, has never done anything like this, unlike Peter who was instead chosen by Christ himself, maybe, perhaps precisely because he embodied all our human frailties?

Still let me smile to the idea that these criticisms are addressed to me by certain poisonous clericals, those who do not hesitate to reject - to name just one - the new version of Our father. To those who asked me if I liked the new version, I didn't hesitate to say no, but I quickly clarified: whether I like it or not is irrelevant, because the Church tells me how to pray and teach the People of God to pray, my obligation and duty is to follow the teachings of the Church Mater et Magistra. And how many times, during conversations and spiritual directions I repeated to many priests: «Better to do the wrong thing in obedience to the Supreme Pontiff and to one's Bishop, rather than doing the right thing in disobedience to what the Supreme Pontiff or the Bishop has established and requested".

Having said that, I'll reiterate: today, if the disease is caught in time, many forms of cancer can be cured, but clericalism, especially that of the fakes and slimy hypocrites, it is a disease that risks being incurable, in addition to always being the worst metastasis that can spread in the body of the Church.

THOSE BISHOPS WHO DO NOT HESITATE TO SACRIFICE THEIR OWN PRIESTS IN ORDER TO PLEASE AT ALL COSTS AN ARMY OF INSOLENT AND ARROGANT LAITY

Those bishops who live quietly for them they would not hesitate to sacrifice their priests they are unworthy and dangerous pastors. Priests must be the primary interest of the bishop, because it is thanks to them that he can exercise the fullness of his apostolic priesthood, in the same way that priests exercise their priesthood by virtue of the apostolic priesthood of the bishop. The good bishop is not the one who, faced with an afflicted and bewildered priest, immediately puts him on guard by saying "I don't want problems!», but the one who welcomes him tells him the exact opposite: «My primary task as a father and pastor is to help you solve your problems and restore your serenity». The good bishop is not the one who overlooks everything, starting from the worst whims of the faithful, in an attempt to please everyone and not displease anyone, but the one who when necessary tries really not to like, because whoever pleases everyone runs the risk of not pleasing God in the end.

Two figures of the Apostles that I particularly venerate, which inspire me and with which in a certain sense I identify myself in character: John and Paul. I often wonder: in those who truly know the Blessed Apostle Paul? If we analyze in depth the Apostolic Letters and the Acts of the Apostles, no easy character emerges, but a subject who did not let one pass. His disagreements with the Blessed Evangelist Mark prove this (cf.. At 13,13; At 15,37-38), to which he later calms down (cf.. With the 4,10). He had heated disagreements with his disciple Barnabas (At 15,39-40; Gal 2,13). Not to mention the heated dispute with the Blessed Apostle Peter (Gal 2,11-16), with the Blessed Apostle James who headed the Judeo-Christian current (cf.. At 15; Gal 2). When it is stated that at Paul's departure «the Church was at peace throughout Judea, in Galilee and in Samaria" (cf.. At 9,30-31) I am afraid that many fail to grasp how ironic this sentence sounds, because translated in other terms it is equivalent to saying … «Thank goodness he got out of the way!». But as already mentioned above, these nuances escape the creators and diffusers of the surreal and sentimental Gospel of the little thoughts imprinted on the Baci Perugina papers.

The Blessed Apostle Paul writes to his disciple Timothy: "If a man desire the episcopate, He desires a noble task " (The Tm 3,1). I have never aspired to the episcopate and I do not intend to aspire to it, but in Pauline terms and in an analogous historical context I too would aspire to it. But let's see what the Blessed Apostle means with this sentence written in an era in which bishops and priests seriously risked their lives, because during the first great persecutions they were considered the main troublemakers of a group of outlaws known as Christians or as followers of the Nazarene. Not by chance the Apostles, first bishops created by Christ the Lord, they ended up like this: James killed by sword by order of Herod Agrippa in Judea. Peter crucified in Rome during the persecutions of Nero. Matteo killed with an axe. Bartholomew known as Nathanael killed in Armenia with the whip. Andrew crucified in Greece on an "X" shaped cross. Mattia, who replaced Judas in the Apostolic College, he is presumed to have died as a martyr. Thomas killed by arrows in what is now Kerala. Luke hanged from a tree by Greek priests. Judas Thaddeus killed in Odessa. Simon the Zealot crucified in Britain. James the Less stoned in Judea. Philip died in Phrygia nailed to a tree. Giovanni, died according to tradition almost a centenary, he was the only one of the apostles not to be martyred. This was what the episcopate indicated as a worthy aspiration by the Apostle Paul entailed at the time, also martyred at the Acque Salvie in Rome. The day we will return to different situation, but still similar, you will see well with what haste we will instantly free ourselves from the scourge of careerists!

The Holy Gospel which has always left an indelible mark in history it is not so much what is predicated, but the one practiced, however true it is that we are called to be living witnesses of the incarnate Christ the Word of God, died, resurrected and ascended to heaven (cf.. LC 24,48). As indeed it is written: “Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith " (GC 2, 18). And today, our faith, that of us priests ahead of everyone, is seriously tested, because we are no longer protected and protected from the outside by society, but above all within the Church, reduced today to a structure that is falling apart in a state of advanced decay. We just have to try to pass through the narrow door, Why, as it is written: «[…] a lot of, I tell you, they will try to enter it, but they won't succeed " (LC 13, 24). And succeeding today is less easy than it was yesterday. there, our great test to overcome: the test of faith.

 

the Island of Patmos, 7 April 2023

Holy thursday – Establishment of the SS. Eucharist and Ministerial Priesthood

 

NOTE

[1] See. Guillaume Durand, Rationale, IV, i, 23.

Date cd. Dry Mass it was usually celebrated in the afternoon, at funerals or weddings, after the priest had already celebrated during the morning and could not celebrate other Holy Masses after hours 12. It consisted of the celebration of a Holy Mass in which the offertory rites were omitted, the Eucharistic Prayer (consecration of the sacred species) and Holy Communion.

[2] See. John Bona, Of liturgical matters, book. duo, I, xv.

[3] See. Karl Marx nell’opera The 18 brumaio of Louis Bonaparte, published in 1869. The full sentence is: «Hegel points out that all the great characters and great facts of history tend to repeat themselves twice. He just forgot to specify: the first time as a tragedy the second as a farce».

[4] See. Sant'Ambrogio, Of the dignity of the Priest; St. Augustine, in Ps. 37; St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Word to pasta. In Syn; Saint Gregory Nazanzieno, The word is 26 Sanct. Petr.; San Girolamo, Discourse on the Body of Christ; San Pier Damiani, The word is 28; S.S. Innocent III, A new kind of Pocn. Rem.; San Bernardino of Siena, about. I, The word is 20, art. 2, c.7; San Bernardino of Siena, Tom.I, The word is 20, art. 2, (c). 7.

[5] See. Joseph Ratzinger, meditation at the IX station of the Way of the cross of Good Friday 2005: «How many times we celebrate only ourselves without even realizing him! How many times his Word is distorted and abused! How little faith there is in so many theories, how many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and precisely also among those who, in the priesthood, they should belong completely to him! How much pride, how much self-sufficiency! How little we respect the sacrament of reconciliation, in which he awaits us, to pick us up from our falls! All of this is present in his passion. The betrayal of the disciples, the unworthy reception of his Body and Blood is certainly the Redeemer's greatest pain, what pierces his heart".

[6] See. San Pier Damiani, Free Gomorrhianus.

[7] See. Bernard of Clairvaux, Treaty good for every Pope, adapted to Eugene III, year 1145.

[8] See. Catherine Benincasa, Letter to the Supreme Pontiff Urban VI in Avignon (1378-1389).

[9] See. Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori, Apostolic man, year 1759.

[10] See. Antonio Rosmini, On the Five Wounds of the Church, treatise dedicated to the Catholic clergy, year 1848.

[11] S.S. John Paul II, Ecclesia in Europa, 2003.

[12] See. Roman Missal, Sacred rite of ordination of priests.

[13] See. S.S. Paul VI, homily delivered on 29 June 1972 for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

[14] Declaration Lord Jesus, about the uniqueness and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and of the Church, 6 August 2000.

[15] S.S. Paul VI, Decree on the ministry and life of priests Priesthood, 7 December 1965.

[16] S.S. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation I will give you shepherds, about the formation of priests under the current circumstances, 25 March 1992.

[17] San Tommaso Aquino, QUESTION, III, q. 1, a. 3, ad 3.

[18] Royal laws, the greatest punishment, in pars An execution in the manner of the ancestors: crucifixio.

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Time of Lent and reflection on death to open us to the joy of resurrection and life without end

TIME OF LENT AND REFLECTION ON DEATH TO OPEN US TO THE JOY OF THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE WITHOUT END

Lent should also be a time for reflection on death. A peaceful reflection, unencumbered by disturbances or fears, worse from the rejection of the very idea of ​​death. Meditate on death, for us Christians, it means thinking and reflecting, with serenity and confidence, to what awaits us after this step: the resurrection to life. Because with Christ the Lord we are all dead and with Him we will all rise again.

— Liturgical ministry —

Author
Simone Pifizzi

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The general rules for the organization of the liturgical year they sanction and explain:

«The purpose of the time of Lent is to prepare for the celebration of Easter. Indeed, the Lenten liturgy prepares both the catechumens and the faithful for the celebration of the paschal mystery, through the remembrance of baptism and the practice of penance" [cf.. n. 27].

 

 

No one can escape the current attraction force of Lent which every year presents itself unchanged in its profound substance, albeit greatly mitigated. Lent remains the spiritually richest and most apostolically fruitful liturgical period of the entire liturgical year: «Here's the time, here is the day of salvation" [II Cor 5,2].

In the speech of 3 March 1965, Pope Paul VI summarized the reasons for the interest of Lent:

«The moral and civil progress to which this recurring and powerful ascetic and spiritual exercise has given impetus and development is incalculable. A reference to what is happening in our day comes to mind; indeed we can remember how, just in the last few years, in accordance with and by virtue of the Lenten discipline, these collections have been promoted, made possible by some penitential sacrifice, which go to alleviate hunger in the world: an abstinence suggested by the spirit of Lent, translates into economic values, and this becomes "bread for hunger in the world", that is, for a multitude of poor people, distant and unknown, who thus enjoy the charity that flows from the Lenten observance ... And what shall we say about the liturgical meaning of Lent? It is the great apprenticeship in the grace of baptism and penance, it is the great fertilizing rain of the Word of God, it is the great preparatory mediation for Easter. At no other time of the year is the spirituality of the Church richer, more moved, more lyrical, more attractive, more beneficial: whoever studies it discovers it as stupendous; whoever experiences it feels human; who lives it, and, goodbye divine».

Lent it has a dual character which we find described in Holy Council in which this tense is spoken of by pointing:

«The double character of the Lenten season which, especially through the memory or preparation for baptism and through penance, it prepares the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery by listening more frequently to the word of God and by dedicating themselves to prayer, is placed in greater evidence both in the liturgy and in liturgical catechesis. Therefore a) the baptismal elements proper to the Lenten liturgy are used more abundantly e, if appropriate, some of them are taken from the previous tradition; b) the same can be said of the penitential elements. As for catechesis then, be inculcated in the hearts of the faithful, together with the social consequences of sin, that characteristic of penance which detests sin as an offense against God; nor forget the Church's part in the penitential action and solicit prayer for sinners" [cf.. n. 109].

For the baptism, the paschal mystery of Christ has become the paschal mystery of the Christian. For by means of baptism we were brought in, vitally grafted and incorporated into Christ and the Church, thus becoming responsible protagonists of the history of salvation that is now taking place in the world. To awaken in us the baptismal conscience the Church, during Lent, following the Gospel of John, he presents the paschal mystery to us through the symbolism of water, of light and life, which results from the three important evangelical episodes of the Samaritan woman, of the man born blind and the resurrection of Lazarus. These are themes specifically suitable for making us rediscover the gradualness of the movement of adherence to Christ. In fact, the Samaritan woman recognized the Messiah as soon as she forgets her physical thirst and admits another one, truer and deeper [cf.. GV 4, 1-42]. The born blind, from the vision of natural light he passes to the supernatural one that saves [cf.. GV 9, 1-40]. Lazarus is brought back to life after Jesus solemnly affirms the need for faith: "Whoever believes in me, even if dead he will live" [cf.. GV 11, 1-53]. These three fundamental elements help us understand the history of salvation eminently linked to these three signs: water, light and life.

Element of Water. It is easy to see a theology of water in Scripture. Given the need to quench their thirst for a nomadic people like Israel, the water becomes the sign of God's providence towards his people, while his deprivation, a punishment. Water is used by the prophets as a sign of the messianic times and the salvation that will come from these times. But the relationship between water and baptism is completely unique: the Spirit hovering over the primordial waters, downpour [cf.. GN 1, 1-2], the Red Sea [cf.. Is 14,15-15,1] I'm, according to the Fathers of the Church, all prefigurations of Baptism.

Element of Light. In ancient times Baptism was called "illumination" and the baptized "illuminated". The relationship between light and baptism is highlighted, as well as from the passage of the man born blind, also from the celebration of the Easter vigil. The symbolism of the candle is all too evident: Christ conquers the darkness. Through baptism we have become children of the light: we must walk as reflectors of the light of the Lord.

Element of Life. It is the culminating aspect of this baptismal catechesis. New life is the primary element in baptism because it is in the very person of Christ. To understand this, one must have a living knowledge of spiritual death, of the impotence to resurrect alone and of the need for divine intervention: "Man, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!» [cf.. GV 11, 1-57]. Until we manage to arouse in us the sense of the need to be saved, i.e. "resurrected", we will have to bitterly get used to living a Christianity that, without its baptismal foundation, it will have nothing paschal. The entire baptismal liturgy consists of a mystery of death and resurrection: the man, to rediscover its true meaning, must necessarily go through a fight in which someone has to die. The deadly force of sin is gradually dampened, won by voluntary mortification, which makes us produce the mystery of Christ's death in us. The one who thus manages to die, through death itself he will know and have life. Lent begins precisely by presenting Christ to us in battle with Satan [cf.. Mt 4, 1-11]; struggle that grows until it reaches death on the cross. But it is precisely in the voluntary and obedient acceptance of death that Christ achieves the victory over death itself and introduces us to the newness of life.

Let us now analyze the penitential character. In the past the penitential discipline of Lent, with its strict practices, it served the Christian as a moment of expiation for sins. The rite of ashes is a clear allusion to this. Public sinners lived in harsh penance for long days. The rigor of fasting touched limits inconceivable for us! Today, albeit with the mitigation of external practices, the need always remains urgent, the duty of penance, as the Lenten liturgy reminds us:

«Let the table be sparing and frugal / sober the tongue and the heart / brothers it's time to listen / the voice of the Spirit" [See. Hymn of praise].

True fasting it is renunciation of what hinders our path towards God and makes our service to God and to our brothers and sisters less generous. Lent must manifest the tension of a penitent people who carry out in themselves the mortifying aspect of the paschal mystery. Our penance draws its reason and meaning from baptism which causes us to die with Christ before rising with him, and relates us to confession, where death dies and life rises again, preparing ourselves for the Eucharist. Penance helps us to see the Christian life in a more unitary conception and to realize that every act we perform is always a manifestation and implementation of the paschal mystery.

The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in the decree on the Apostolate of the laity, reminds us that with penance and the spontaneous acceptance of the hardships and pains of life, by which we conform ourselves to the suffering Christ, we can reach all men and contribute to their salvation [Apostolate, 16].

Lent it should also be a moment of reflection on death. A peaceful reflection, unencumbered by disturbances or fears, worse from the rejection of the very idea of ​​death. Meditate on death, for us Christians, it means thinking and reflecting, with serenity and confidence, to what awaits us after this step: the resurrection to life. Because with Christ the Lord we are all dead and with Him we will all rise again. This is the heart of the paschal mystery which we encounter throughout the precious period of Lent.

Florence, 18 March 2023

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I am a theologian guardian of tradition in line with the thought of the theologian Andrea Grillo, intellectual honesty dictates it to me

— Liturgical ministry —

I AM A THEOLOGIST GUARDIAN OF TRADITION IN LINE WITH THE THOUGHT OF THEOLOGIST ANDREA GRILLO, INTELLECTUAL HONESTY REQUIRES ME TO

I dream-aesthetic traditionalists they are basically pathological patients for whom a newborn could be taken and its throat slaughtered in the baptismal font during the holy rite of initiation into the Christian life, But, if Holy Baptism is celebrated in Latin with the ancient rite, you can rest assured that they will get over it, or in any case they will always find justifications, however absurd and irrational, always.

 

 

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A year and a half ago the Apostolic Letter created discontent and bewilderment Guardians of tradition date in the form of motu proprio by the Supreme Pontiff Francis the 16 July 2021 about the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, which in fact creates understandable and appropriate restrictions on the Motu Proprio given the 7 July 2007 by the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI on the use of the Roman Missal of St. Pius V before the reform outlined by Holy Council the 4 December 1963.

On this issue the sacramental theologian Andrea Grillo intervened with one of his articles by 24 February 2022 in which you ask: It is legitimate to create stable anti-council Indian reservations? Article that I accepted and judged balanced and also far-sighted.

 

the sacramental theologian Andrea Grillo

 

On the so-called and improperly called traditionalists I'd rather fly over, however, it is necessary to give an idea of ​​theirs status psychological with some examples aimed at clarifying what we are talking about, but above all how irrational and emotional their approach to the sacred liturgy is. So let's try to formulate precise questions: the members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate had perhaps not generated, within their young and confused religious congregation, some forms of real juridical chaos? Perhaps these are far from sporadic results, but unfortunately many, the recorded cases of young religious who left their austere convents to end up under psychiatric treatment, after being not so badly trained, but really deformed on a human and spiritual level? Empirical evidence shows, have they not proved, with unprecedented arrogance, to be a congregation born yesterday, recognized by the Holy See just in 1990, that despite not having had time to train even a generation of theologians, not to mention a theological school, they set about promoting international conferences against the top exponents of the New Theology, which can be criticized, but by the Dominicans or the Franciscans, who over the course of eight centuries have given birth to important currents of theological thought and donated to the Church theological schools and various great Saints and Doctors of the Church? With their somewhat confused Father Serafino Lanzetta, little more than a kid at the time, perhaps they did not set about hammering the nail of Vatican II, a purely pastoral council, therefore in fact a non-dogmatic council and as such a sort of little council second class? With their very arrogant Mariologist Father Alessandro Apollonio, perhaps they did not begin to give the Marian dogma of Mary the co-redeemer as already declared, calling the Blessed Virgin with this title and even instituting her cult and devotion, unaware of how much the very concept of "co-redemptrix" has always created enormous problems in the field of dogmatics and above all of Christology? Maybe they haven't had, sweet at the bottom, problems related to financial and asset management? Forget it, because we could take these facts one by one and still others to follow, all tested and documented, without being able to move i in the slightest dream-aesthetic traditionalists convinced that the poor Franciscans of the Immaculate were persecuted because they celebrated Mass with the the old order and because they criticized the German theologian Karl Rahner.

I dream-aesthetic traditionalists they are basically pathological patients for whom a newborn could be taken and its throat slaughtered in the baptismal font during the holy rite of initiation into the Christian life, But, if Holy Baptism is celebrated in Latin with the ancient rite, you can rest assured that they will get over it, or in any case they will always find justifications, however absurd and irrational, always.

Andrea Grillo belongs to what some usually define “progressive area” O “very progressive”. These are definitions that I have never liked, because for me there are only theologians who discuss and that as one and only “label” they have that of Catholics. I met Andrea Grillo in past years, he is a man of profound legal culture, theological and sacramental. When asked if I share some of his theses and positions, I would answer no, but that he is a scholar of the highest level, this is indubitable. Add to this that he is also amiable as a person and very talented as a teacher, always helpful and considerate with graduate school students. If certain dream-aesthetic traditionalists whose arrogance has always matched their ignorance, began to discuss the theological and pastoral structure of the Missal of Saint Pius V, not to mention its history and evolution through the ages, with a liturgist like that - whose stature and encyclopaedic culture, I repeat, must first of all be recognized - I think that after scarce three minutes not even a feather would be left of them.

I have always tried to be an intellectually honest scholar, therefore I have never had any difficulty in affirming that Hans Küng had natural gifts and speculative abilities far superior to those of Joseph Ratzinger, because the historical facts and the originality of his writings prove it. Otherwise, those of Joseph Ratzinger, they are written by a very cultured theologian as well as an excellent teacher able to expound in a masterly way, but the originality of the thought is, however, quite another thing. My confrere and friend Brunero Gherardini (1925-2017), which was the quintessence of the strictest and most rigorous orthodoxy, had no difficulty admitting appreciatively that Leonard Boff was one of the most gifted and talented ecclesiologists of the last 50 year old, or that the most beautiful commentary and exegesis of the Letter to the Romans remains that of the Protestant Karl Barth, currently unsurpassed. But there's more: perhaps, if we possessed the works and writings - which unfortunately we have not received - we could even discover that the heresiarch Pelagius was more gifted, on a theological and speculative level, than was Augustine bishop of Hippo, later Saint and Doctor of the Church. Unfortunately we don't have the works of Pelagius and we know only the answers and refutations of Augustine about him. But if a titan like Augustine moved against Pelagius, this already shows that on the other side, as heretical as we want, there was another titan and a tough nut to crack to fight against. And we want to talk about the heresiarch Arius, who with his theories on the Incarnation of the Word managed to convince almost all Catholics that Christ was a divine creature created by God? His theories, very well structured and compelling, forced the Church Fathers to gather at the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, in the year 325, to dogmatically define that Christ was not a creature but "begotten not created of the same substance as the Father" (born not created like the Father). Far from being eradicated, the Arian heresy continued to spread for the following centuries in entire regions of Europe. The Germanic peoples and beyond, they were evangelized by Arian bishops and presbyters in the early 4th century. Only in the 6th century were the Germanic peoples re-converted by missionaries, after two centuries of Arianism, which nevertheless continued to leave its mark.

This kind of theology and the history of theology some poor people dream-aesthetic traditionalists locked up in four rancid formulas of decadent neo-scholasticism - which is not even a distant relative of classical scholasticism - they don't even know where he lives, because like all mediocre people they have to invent enemies, wallow between millenarianisms and doomsday prophecies, imminent magical triumphs of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pretending to know better than anyone, but above all by trying to destroy those they decide to elevate to the rank of supreme enemies, because the image of the enemy is a fundamental premise of their very being and existence. Typical characteristic of these people is not to fight ideas but people in an attempt to destroy them in any way and by any means, according to the consolidated style of the worst pseudo-religious fundamentalisms.

On the columns of our magazine Father Ivano Liguori and I were more and more severe with certain priests showman, but not only: always and in practice we have called their bishops to accountability accusing them in no uncertain terms of lack of vigilance. However, we cannot say that the Church has been indifferent and silent from this point of view, because both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have spoken and written against liturgical abuses, In the 2004 instruction was promulgated Sacramentum which is a very clear and precise document which many have screwed over, at the head of all the Neocatechumenal and various Charismatic groups.

Well before Guardians of tradition I pleaded defiantly that it would be good to revoke that motu proprio by Benedict XVI on Mass of old order [see my video conference] given certain outcomes that are anything but minority or isolated. And for years, not for days or months, but for years I have been telling in vain to certain groups and faithful to stop with their amenities like: "Ah, this is the only Mass, the valid Mass, the usual Mass, not that Protestant Mass of Paul VI invented by that Freemason Annibale Bugnini!». And how many times have I repeated to them that they could not and should not use the Missale old order to attack an entire church council, or a necessary liturgical reform already started before the council by the Supreme Pontiff Pius XII and so on to follow. Equally to no avail I repeated for years that if they continued that way, sooner or later that motu proprio would have been revoked. Forget it, this is the answer: "No, It is not possible, because the Mass of all time is irrevocable, untouchable!». It's still, uselessly, for years and years I told them that that motu proprio it was not an irrevocable dogmatic definition and it has always been said in Rome that «a Pope boils and a Pope boils».

Lost time, wasted words, narrow-minded heads who have always refused to understand, going on for years, stubbornly and stubbornly, to make use of a missal to create two parties within the Church, using as an element of division what constitutes the heart of the unit: l'Eucharist.

In my humble opinion, with all the displeasure for those who have not had these attitudes, I believe that the Supreme Pontiff was right to promulgate that motu proprio restrictive which in fact it is Keeper of traditions, about which we can say in a legitimate critical tone, but above all in the light of the principles of prudence, balance and above all aequitas, that his action was undoubtedly right, but equally undoubtedly partial. As far as I'm concerned, it may be fine for me to tighten my belt on the use of the Missal of St. Pius V, seen the way some do not, but many have used it, having seen certain unhappy and full-blown outcomes, But, being intellectually honest, I cannot fail to wonder and to ask: and the Neocatechumenal groups that have invaded and are in control of almost half of the parishes of the Diocese of Rome, that impudently, insolent and arrogant they rent halls in the hotels of the capital or in the religious houses of the city, to make of the sacred liturgy what they want and how they want directly under the windows of the Holy Father, maybe someone said something to him, or, if anything, intends to tell him something shortly? By chance, a document was issued in which it is forbidden to celebrate Masses without the authorization of the Ecclesiastical Authority outside consecrated spaces, which neither in Rome nor in the rest of Italy is lacking, allowing them to continue to gather in the halls of hotels or obliging religious houses, with the priest “rented” who carries out the orders of laymen kneeling at the worst bizarre directives of Kiko Argüello? The Supreme Pontiff, who recently put his hand to his own Diocese with a radical reform, has he ever noticed that the Vicariate has been in the hands of the Neocatechumens for some decades, thanks to the unfortunate protection granted to them first by Cardinal Camillo Ruini and then by Cardinal Agostino Vallini? The Supreme Pontiff, he is aware of what the Neocatechumenals have done in ostracism and wickedness, to those priests they consider hostile to their doctrinal and liturgical eccentricities, using the armed wing of their loyal associates such as the immovable chancellor of the Vicariate of Rome Giuseppe Tonello, able to do good and bad weather, or to decide how and how to cut off the heads of certain priests hostile to the "Church" of Mr. Kiko Argüello? Since none of this has been done so far, that makes me read Guardians of tradition as a measure made necessary by the situation that has arisen, but which at the same time once again manifests the partiality and imbalances of this Augustus Pontificate, in which we rightly care for those who have had the open indecency to use the Missale old order to attack an entire Church Council and liturgical reform, without, however, caring in the slightest for those who in a no less insolent and arrogant way make the liturgy what they want and how they want directly in the Diocese of Rome under the windows of the Supreme Pontiff.

I repeat: the analyzes of Prof. Andrea Grillo, badge, cultured and qualified sacramental theologian, on the level of doctrine, of the liturgy, ecclesiology and pastoral care are absolutely flawless. Thesis that as far as I'm concerned I approve and share, moved by that intellectual honesty which animates and sustains faith, unlike those who seek to change their faith, you want with the Missal of St. Pius V you want with the liturgical extravaganzas of the Neocatechumenals and certain fringes of the Charismatics, in the world of subjective emotions. And a Supreme Pontiff, to be truly right when doing right things, it must above all be above emotions and warring parties. And if the case imposes the need to beat him, in that case it would be good to club both right and left equally.

I don't think I have to justify myself for anything, in any case it should be noted that I am a great admirer of the Venerable Missal of St. Pius V, of which I think I know in depth that theological structure and that pastoral system completely unknown to them exotic priests thirty-year-olds who got up one morning and improvised so-called “Tridentine”, unaware first of all that a “Tridentine rite” it just never existed, it's just a totally inappropriate way of saying. Above all unaware that in that Missal even gestures and silences have a profound mystagogical and spiritual meaning, completely ignored by them to leave room for forms of exotic aestheticism that are almost always tragically ends in themselves. I dream-aesthetic traditionalists who mention the bubble inappropriately At the first time with which the Holy Pontiff Pius V promulgated in 1570 that Missal defining it unreformable with a lot of let him be, they demonstrate that they do not know the style in which certain pontifical documents were usually composed, which had their own precise rhetorical style, but above all they ignore that that Missal was revised and reformed a total of eighteen times starting from 1614, when the Supreme Pontiff Urban VIII published a first edition updated and improved to just 44 years after its promulgation, with substantial and radical corrections. The last important reforms were made in the twentieth century by the Holy Pontiff Pius X, by the Venerable Pope Pius XII and by the Holy Pontiff John XXIII in the space of less than fifty years. I abhor liturgical abuses, but for that very reason, in my humble capacity as a poor dogmatic theologian and historian of dogma, I am perfectly aware that much worse liturgical abuses took place with that Venerable Missal than those we are witnessing today with the Missal promulgated in 1969 and entered into force in 1970. I am a lover of the Latin language and when I can I always use the typical edition Latin of the Missal of Paul VI, the one in Italian always and de rigueur when I celebrate for the assemblies of the faithful. I resent certain blind and obtuse anachronisms typical of people who actually call for the exhumation of a corpse, however holy, namely the Missal of Saint Pius V, no longer feasible today both at the pastoral level and at the level of evangelization. The basic problem of these people is that by taking a Missal as an object of dispute and struggle, they tend to vent the discomforts of an immature or badly lived Christianity, rejecting the theological and eschatological element that the Church begins its unceasing journey with the disciples along the Emmaus Road together with the Lord [cf.. LC 24, 13-35], while some would have liked to paralyze it, like Peter, statically on Mount Tabor, before the transfiguration of Christ [cf.. MC 9, 2-10]. The Church is by its very nature constitutive The development of the people, anyone who tries to change it to The regression of the people claims unusual right, but above all unacceptable, to betray the mission that Christ entrusted to her, in an endless journey, always leaning forward, until his return at the end of time.

the Island of Patmos, 27 February 2023

 

The problem of the aequitas and the ancient game of the punishable and the unpunishable, of the stickable and the caressable …

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